Ideas about space develop a child gradually. They are based on the sensations of your own body. The feeling of one’s own body influences thinking, speech, the perception of surrounding objects, space, time.
For example, a newborn child is frightened by its own pens, considering them a foreign object. Therefore, pediatricians advise the first month to swaddle the child with his hands. After some time, the fear passes, and the baby begins to study his body: look at the fists, play with the legs, fingers.
The baby has an interest in the surrounding objects, which he with pleasure feels, pulls into his mouth. Then the baby begins to look at their relatives, watching their movements and trying to imitate them.
In this way, the child develops ideas about his own body, other people, objects, etc. However, the process of formation of spatial perception lasts throughout the entire preschool period.
So, at 1 year old, the child likes to throw various objects, studying the laws of gravity, can crawl or walk in a given direction. After one and a half years, the baby happily learns to climb the stairs, climb into a chair, and can step over obstacles. At the age of 2, the baby knows some parts of the body (about 10) and to the question “Where is your tummy, leg?” Confidently shows them.
At the request can give a hand, stretch your leg, go out or enter the room. At 2.5 years, the stock of knowledge expands, and the kid already distinguishes 15 parts of the body, can crouch and crawl under the table, loves to spin, jumps well on two legs, runs well, holds a pencil tightly. At the age of 3, the child already remembers 20 names of body parts, knows his own gender, understands the words “up”, “down”, “aside”, “in”, “on”, “above”, “under” – although in his own speech can still confuse prepositions.
At the age of 4, the baby cleverly crawls along the “tunnel” from the row of chairs, calculates the distance (far away – close), feels the difference in weight, imitates well the movements of a hero he likes or an adult educator. A year later, he can safely stand on one leg, easily stretched out into a string or curled up, precisely copying his movements.
At 6 years old, a child easily defines the middle of a room, can divide an apple into two equal parts, and at 7, he can control the muscles of his face, accept various expressions, keep calm or, on the contrary, depict a certain emotion, pretend. At the same age, the baby knows well where it’s left and right; it can march, walk in one piece, perform complex coordination exercises, relax or stretch the muscles of the body.
Painting is of great importance for determining the formation of a child’s spatial perception.
At 2 years old children’s images are more likely to look like wide and circular scribbles. At the same time the circle is not closed.
At 3 years the circle closes, and the first signs of the face (eyes) and miniature parts of the body begin to appear. At this age, the child, perceiving a picture with a simple plot, calls each item shown separately: “Girl, pussy” or “Boy, horse, tree”.
At 3 years and 2 months the little man in the figure has subtle features, full face and disproportionate parts of the body.
At 3 years and 7 months, the torso appears, the lower parts of the body are shortened. The upper parts of the body – arms and shoulders – are drawn in detail, the features are repeated.
At 4 years and 6 months, the child draws the neck, ears, hair; arms and legs become proportional, palms are depicted as the sun.
At 5 years and 6 months, all parts of the body are separated from each other, and the palms are drawn with five fingers. A smile appears on their faces, indicating a successful socialization of the child.
In addition, at this age, the baby is easily oriented in the range of primary colors and calls the basic geometric shapes.
At 6 years old, a child denotes the mood of heroes in portraits, loves to convey details, can “copy” from life. During this period, children begin to see the connections that exist between the objects depicted in the picture, for example: “A girl walks with a dog,” assess the color and shape of surrounding objects, their weight, size, temperature, and surface properties.
Children’s pictures are an excellent indicator of the development of motor skills; it is clear from them whether a child has a perception disorder or not. For example, if, by the age of 4–5, the legs of a man grow from his head, the perception of the body of the “artist” is disturbed.
Neuropsychologists identify 4 levels of formation of spatial representations. At the first level, the child has tactile sensations and ideas about his own body: about tension-relaxation, hunger-satiety, dampness-dryness.
The second level includes an understanding of distance and integrity: how far a particular subject is located, from which side it is located. First, ideas about the vertical are born, then – horizontals, “from oneself” and forth, then – about the right and left side.
At the third level, the child begins to verbalize (deliberately pronounce) topological symbols, operates with the concepts of “top”, “bottom”, “close”, “far”.
The prepositions “in”, “above”, “under”, “for”, “before” appear in the child’s speech a little later.
The fourth level – the final one, fully depends on the development of the three previous ones. At this stage, the child ends with the development of speech, thinking, the baby clearly understands the space-time and cause-effect relationships, is able to trace them and predict them.
It happens that a failure occurs at one level or another, and the formation of spatial perception is slowed down or stopped. As a result, a child can poorly navigate, not only in unfamiliar places, but also in his apartment, with difficulty determines the distance to the subject, does not know how to dress independently: he misses buttons or gets confused in the sleeves of his shirt.
Such violations negatively affect the intellectual development of the child. When designing, it is difficult for a child to make a whole of parts, to reproduce a given shape, it is difficult to draw.
At school, these children cannot remember the configuration of letters, forget that they should read from left to right, jump from line to line.
You notice signs of distraction or inconsistency of the baby. Do not miss the signs of impaired psychomotor development, which resulted in a distortion of spatial orientation.
Consult with a neuropsychologist, who will appoint a course of remedial classes. It is possible to independently develop spatial representations: together with the baby, to sing songs, clapping, dancing, jumping and running, assembling the designer, puzzles, doing applique, modeling, playing hide and seek, “The sea is worried”, “Hot-cold”, “Picture animal”.
It is important to name the body parts so that by the age of three the child already knows where they are located:
- face, eye, ear, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, hair;
- neck, nape, chest, back, shoulder, arm, elbow;
- brush, fingers, nail;
- leg, knee, foot, heel, toe, cheek, forehead, stomach, butt.
Then the baby can learn the names of various fingers, as well as large and small toes. In the older preschool age, the child should already perfectly understand the meaning of the words:
- eyebrow, eyelid, eyelashes, chin, lips;
- body, thigh, navel, wrist, palm;
- armpit, thigh (thigh), lower leg, ankle, sole;
- heart, lungs, blood circulation system, pupil;
- brain, rib, knee joint, throat;
- skeleton, veins, ankle joint, sky.
The perception of space, the feeling of your own body is extremely important for the full development of the child. And not only for learning, but also for socialization. Since it is precisely on the basis of bodily sensations, the child begins to separate himself from the outside world, to realize his own individuality.
In the future, these ideas have an impact on the formation of self-consciousness, on the emergence of reflection, on the ability to competently build causal relationships.