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The Language of Distance

Children in Nursery should be able to discuss distance and have opportunities to explore length and direction, giving instructions and making comparisons. This week focus on talking to and with your child about distance and how close or far away things are, offer opportunities to measure and compare distances using non-standard measures (e.g. how many steps or how many lego bricks), encourage children to talk about how far they have gone when you go out (i.e. is Tesco further away than the park?) and discuss which directions you are going if you go out for a walk (i.e which way should we turn to get the park? What is around this corner? Let's turn left).


Measuring using steps: Measure different distances by counting steps this week. How many steps is it from the sofa to the kitchen? How many steps from the front door to the car? Is it more steps from the bed to the window or from the shower to the sink? Start comparing these distances using words like long, short, far, near. 


Extension: Get more than one person to measure the same distance in steps (a child and an adult) and discuss why they are different amounts.



Giving and following directions: Either print the farm map below or make your own on a piece of paper. You could draw one together and make it as simple as you like. Use a small toy and give your child instructions like the farmer in ‘Farmer Duck’ which include direction and where words.


Walk around the pond and go to the greenhouse.

Go to the pond without going by the muddy field.

Go over the bridge and stand by the vegetable patch.

Can they give you some instructions?