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Originally recorded as Live Broadcast November 2022

Transcript and links:

Why is spatial awareness important to child development, and how can singing games help?

“Spatial awareness is knowing where your body is in space, in relation to objects or other people. To have good spatial awareness you also need to understand and respond to a change in position from these objects.” NHS Wales

Children, and adults, who find this challenging can find it affects many areas of life.

  • Socially they may have difficulties respecting personal space, which may have a knock on effect on their friendships
  • They may also have coordination problems, struggling with sports and other physical activities including playing musical instruments. Some children will avoid joining in with sports or music due to low confidence or bullying
  • They may appear clumsy, trip or knock into things. Looking down while walking to try not to stumble. Missing their mouth while eating or drinking
  • Academically they can have difficulties with reading, writing and maths
  • The physical challenges of a musical instrument are made more difficult

I could go on, but if you’re interested in learning more then there are some links below.

But how can Singing Games help?

Action songs such as Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes help to develop body self-awareness and gross motor skills, plus of course pointing to eyes, ears, mouth and nose requires more control.

The Kodály classic and playground favourite Copy Cat is another good one for body self-awareness and the teacher can lead the students to follow increasingly difficult actions as appropriate.

Circle Games like the party classics The Hokey Cokey and The Birdie Song involve parts of the body and moving around the room in a formation, albeit a rather crazy one at some parties I’ve attended. These can also help with balance since putting your left leg in and out and shaking it about can be a challenge.

Of course in the previous lesson I shared Bluebells Cockle Shells, where you can see how the partner circle game can help children develop that sense of where their own body is, how it interacts with their partner and how to successfully move from one partner to another.

Have you thought about how the singing games you use can help with spatial awareness development?