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Positional Language


This week we will be focusing on positional language which is part of the ‘Shape, Space and Measure’ aspect of Maths. Children should be able to understand and use prepositions, which are words which describe the position of an object such as behind, next to, in front of, next to, in, out, between. You can call them “where words.


Simon Says



You will need a teddy/small toy and a box or a chair. First, spend some time with your child introducing and practising positional language by giving your child some instructions and/or placing the toy in different places in relation to the box and asking them to describe where the toy is.

E.g. Can you put teddy behind the box?

Can you put teddy between the box and the wall?

Can you put the teddy under the box?

Can you tell me where teddy is?

Once your child is confident with these words and the concept of “where?” you can turn this activity into a game of Simon says. Simon says put teddy behind the box. Simon says put teddy in front of the mug. Put teddy in the box. GOTCHA!


Extension – if your child is really confident with this language already, you can use additional resources which require your child to understand more key words in a sentence.

E.g. a doll, a teddy, a big box, a little box.

Can you put the doll in the big box?

Can you put the teddy next to the little box?

Can you put the doll behind the little box? Etc.



Musical chairs:



You can play this game with the whole family or just one child. Put a chair/chairs in a safe space where there is enough room around them. When the music stops can you sit on the chair? Play the music and your child has to dance around the chair and sit on the chair when it stops. In the next round give a different instruction e.g. can you stand behind the chair? Can you lie under the chair? Can you crouch next to the chair?



Embedding this vocabulary:


Focus on preposition vocabulary throughout the week at home when playing, cooking, going for a walk, being in the garden. It is good opportunity to practise giving and following instructions and describing positions. Let’s wait behind the wall for these people to pass on the path. Can you put the shopping in the fridge for me?

There is Maths video challenge this week to support children in exploring prepositions or "where words."