MMaRS has developed activities that parents and educators can do to facilitate spatial and numerical language and reasoning through play-based educational activities. These activities share how to leverage connections between home and school learning to best support children’s spatial reasoning development.

Teachers and parents can promote spatial orientation with classroom activities that can then be taken home to extend children’s learning. As teachers and parents engage with children in these activities, spatial language should be used as much as possible to describe the situations and build students’ reasoning processes. Using spatial language, such as between, far, corner, tall, or rectangle, improves children’s spatial reasoning skills.

What is Numeric Relational Reasoning?

Numeric Relational Reasoning is the ability to mentally analyze relationships between numbers or expressions, often using knowledge of properties of operations, decomposition, and known facts. Children compare sets when stating which collection of items, goldfish crackers for example, has more or less. They also demonstrate equi-partitioning when dividing snacks with a friend or family member using the “one for me, one for you” idea.

What is Spatial Reasoning?

Spatial Reasoning is the ability to interact with, navigate in, and understand one’s environment. Children engage in spatial orientation when they draw maps from a “birds-eye” view, use directional language (e.g., behind, above, right, north, etc.), and imagine locations from different perspectives. Evidence suggests that spatial reasoning skills support the development of overall mathematics knowledge and specific mathematical concepts such as place value, relationships between numbers, and operations.

Numeric Relational Reasoning ActivitiesFocus
Roll to 10Learn how many ways you can make ten using dice, markers, and an easy game board.
Spatial Reasoning Activities Focus
I Spy from this Perspective
At Home Activity
Encourages children to visualize environments from different perspectives. Includes an home learning experience and extension.
What do you see from a top view?
Classroom Activity
Encourages children to visualize objects from a “birds-eye” view. Includes a classroom activity idea.
What relationship exists between shadows and objects?
Classroom Activity
Encourages children to observe, collect, and record data to make comparisons. Includes a classroom activity idea.