What is body spatial awareness and how can we work together to help improve your child’s body spatial awareness? Body spatial awareness in its simplest definition, is your child’s ability to know where their body is in space. A key indicator that your child may have difficulty with body spatial awareness is if they are frequently bumping into thing; walls, people, toys, swings, objects etc. We don’t typically think about this because it is an automatic reaction but our children’s bodies have receptors that send messages to our brain about where our specific body parts are at any given time period. If those messages become impaired, disorganized, interrupted, misheard or don’t line up a child can experience impairments with body spatial awareness.
A few activities that can help your child improve their body spatial awareness is sports, jumping activities and playing games that involve spatial concepts or directions such as left and right. Soccer is a good example of a sport that involves motor planning and criss-crossing patterns which require bilateral coordination resulting in improved body spatial awareness. Another sport that is helpful in training our bodies in awareness is baseball focusing again on bilateral integration, hand eye coordination, motor planning and timing and sequencing. With jumping activities it allows their body to receive proprioceptive input via communicating with our muscles about our legs, arms and trunk movements. The third activity we can do to help your child improve their body spatial awareness is to play games that involve spatial concepts such as in front of, behind, on top, under as well as directional components like left and right. A good example of a game for this activity is twister. There are more ways to help improve body spatial awareness, however here is a starting point for you and your child!