Colonel Mustard in the billiards room with the tp tube

crazy it's everywhere we expect little kids to know their way around it with no GPS no map but that only works if the grown-up driving the car says look out the window there's a white horse in the field beside the old red barn falling down and a car carrier truck going over the bridge your fork is by your napkin but the spoon is next to the knife
It cuts It's clear there's a hawk on the pole
how old are you why do you shake
right side out can you fix your sleeves I say almost as often as did you flush are you sure
inside outside beside upside down on its side
over under below above beneath atop ready to drop in time square
like a boat
a cannon
a cave trapped in
clear see-through transparent go-go dancers white crinkle patent boots Millie the Model comic books on the revolving rack in the sunny window corner of the Rexall Drug

Octagon stop on the way to rest assisted nursing
base foundation construction structure
engineered pickles milk bottle mayo lids
kids insist the catsup mustard syrup shampoo
lids are toilets those same kids never flush
put the seat up put the seat down
tube cylinder cube sphere over here
not just put this there or point and nudge
standing up down flat
that match just the same
carry water turn it over put it under in the dark no way out
turn it around do the hokey pokey that's what it's all about
Ranch dressing behind between in front grid mesh holes right next to look through glass
at the corner in the middle at the center near the edge right by my name
together apart in your lap numbers letters
whale's tail trampoline jumping bean
please and thank you count to ten hot glue hot cool how cool now wait
together apart again repeat
tall short skinny wide tiny big small same different heavy brother
what where how rectangle triangle square o'er the rockets red glare
ring circle round flat bumpy smooth
the biggest green thing you ever did see hole in the bottom of the sea
leaning against pointing toward onward and upward
Christian soldiers scoot up closer to the table so you don't get crumbs
past present tense don't talk with your mouth

Spatial vocabulary is essential, but most of the time we don't notice when we use it. Children need to hear adults using spatial terms early in their lives to gain thinking skills for future math, science, and technology work. Dr. Susan Levine and her research team at the University of Chicago videotaped caregivers interacting with children 14-46 months of age in normal activities. On average adults used 167 words related to spatial concepts during 13.5 hours of video-recording, but the range of terms used was from five to 525. Early exposure to spatial language builds a habit of observing the world increasing kids' attention to spatial relations. It builds the ability to visualize and transform a mental image of a shape, to mentally rotate shapes and build spatial analogies, to notice similarities and differences. Can you put the pretzel stick through the Cheerio?

Pruden, S. M., Levine, S. C. and Huttenlocher, J. (2011), Children’s spatial thinking: does talk about the spatial world matter?. Developmental Science, 14: 1417–1430. Research supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and an award from the National Science Foundation's Science of Learning Center program to the University of Chicago's Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder

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