Improving Spatial Reasoning Skills
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Q: I was hoping to be advised on workbooks
materials that will help me work with and test him with Spatial
I have several gifted books that touch on this subject and I have been
looking online but I'd rather ask an expert for what you would recommend
to eliminate the chances of accidentally selecting material that would
not be effective or perhaps even suitable.
He is in Kindergarten but is advanced and will be tested for gifted this
year and he is an advanced reader (4th grade comprehensive reader) as
well as can do 1st grade as well as some 2nd grade math already. Which
is why they said they wanted to test him this coming year.
I plan on continuing to work with him holistically but I really need
direction and advice on spatial reasoning which is what they recommended
What workbooks and materials do you recommend I can get for my child and
I so that we can focus on Spatial reasoning and better his chances of
doing well enough to be accepted in the gifted program?
Spatial ability is the capacity to understand, reason and remember the
spatial relations among objects or space. This ability can be viewed as
a unique type of intelligence distinguishable from other forms of
intelligence, such as verbal ability, reasoning ability, and memory
skills. Spatial reasoning is a category of reasoning skills that refers
to the capacity to think about objects in three dimensions and to draw
conclusions about those objects from limited information. Someone with
good spatial abilities might also be good at thinking about how an
object will look when rotated. Spatial reasoning is a skill that can be
improved with training and practice. Spatial reasoning is not a
biologically determined cognitive trait as was once thought to be the
Please refer to "Spatial
Intelligence in Children - Practical Activities"
Research findings indicate that it is relatively straightforward to
improve the spatial reasoning abilities of children even before they
start formal schooling. It can be accomplished when adults interact with
children during their play using a variety of playful, appealing, yet
effective spatial toys and activities such as wooden unit blocks,
puzzles, Duplo®, Magna Tiles®, pattern blocks, attribute blocks, and
paper folding activities such as origami and paper airplane making. A
key factor influencing spatial skills development in these examples are
the spatial words, spatial gestures, questions and challenges that the
toys and the play evoke from adults. Parents need to play a big part
Additionally, you could also try reading to them “spatially challenging
picture books” such as Zoom by Istvan Banyai, Actual Size by Steven
Jenkins and Shrinking Mouse by Pat Hutchins. These books appear to
examine scenes from various angles or perspectives, include maps and
spatial language, or feature illustrations that require close spatial
attention to decipher their meaning.
As for digital platform to improve spatial skills, you could use the
U.S.-based National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and their
creation of "illuminations"
and Ontario Mathematics Gazette.
Hope the above helps. Best wishes.