Outside and All Around

Think back to your days in elementary school. Chances are, your teacher spent some time discussing prepositions – you know, words like “in,” “around,” “near,” and “after.” Words that describe a spatial or temporal relationship or direction. Here is a little known fact: there are between 85 and 150 prepositions in the English language (depending on who is listing them). That is a lot of words to learn!

While it may seem silly to teach grammatical structure and vocabulary to your toddlers and preschool-age children, there is nothing silly about giving them fun opportunities to learn the tools they will need for tomorrow. In your daily discussions with the children, you are probably already incorporating prepositions into your dialogue without realizing it!

“Let’s go to the playhouse.”
“Sarah is sliding down the slide.”
“Wash your hands before lunch.”

According to Dr. Larry Rider at the University of Redlands, children develop the comprehension/production in this approximate order:

  • spatial location [topological prepositions]
  • the relationship between two or more things [Euclidean prepositions]
  • direction [projective prepositions]
  • locates something in time [temporal prepositions]

On Monday, we’ll talk about The Adventurous Child’s tracking panel and how it will encourage children’s comprehension of prepositions and appreciation for spatial relationships.