Friday, January 11, 2013

Geography and Direction

Concepts of location begin early in life. By age 2, children are able to distinguish between
objects that are near and can be grasped, and those that are farther away. They can notice
features of their immediate surroundings, such as the bedroom or yard.

The idea of direction is a difficult concept. Children develop the concept of direction through
experiences such as climbing, jumping, running, and rolling around. Children need to physically
experience themselves in space.

First, children need to develop body awareness; to understand where their body is in a room, including its size and level (upright, crawling or stooping, or on the floor); how the body's different parts are put together with wriggling wrists and wobbling ankles, and how to move in directions like forward, backward, or sideways.

When they know how their body moves, they will have the basis for learning precise directions and locations later in life. The more opportunities children have to run and move about, the greater their ability tokeep track of position and location.

Children with disabilities have a special need to experience space, direction, and location. Even
when using a wheelchair, children can play simple dancing games that help them orient
themselves in space. They can take field trips into the community and use maps to follow

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