Understanding spatial relationships and position words are two critical foundations to early childhood education. This activity allows the children to discover spatial relationships from different angles.

set up ideas:
Boxes or containers that can nest inside each other one way and stack on top of each other when placed upside down are ideal for this activity.

let's get started

Round up art paper, crayons and at least 5 boxes of different sizes that can be stacked and that also fit inside each other.

step 1
Place the boxes in a large area. Challenge the children to strategize to stack the greatest number of boxes.
step 2
After the children have stacked as many boxes as possible, challenge them to condense them.
step 3
Give each child a box. Ask them to demonstrate a variety of position words, including the following: inside, on top of, below, beside, next to, etc.
step 4
Encourage the children to draw a picture of their tallest tower. Ask them to point out different positions by drawing different objects inside, on top of, below, beside and next to the tower.

Allow children to talk about the position words they’ve learned and how they have used them previously so that they form a better concept of spatial awareness. Ask them to describe the relative location of other objects in the room.
Tips and Tricks Tips and Tricks
If you are using large cardboard boxes for this, seal the flaps on one end and cut them off on the other. This allows students to stack them or put them together more easily.
Follow Up ActivityFollow up Activity
Play a game of I Spy with the new position words. Use phrases like “I Spy something on top of the gray filing cabinet” or other phrases that will help students to identify the relative position of objects.