Games to Develop Spatial Orientation

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Good spatial orientation can prevent you from getting lost or injured. Spatial orientation is your ability to build a map of the space that surrounds you. It is on display when an athlete catches a ball and when someone remembers directions to your house. Everyone is capable of developing better spatial orientation and there are games that help.

Foundation of Spatial Orientation

The inner ears, eyes and brain control spatial orientation. There are three tubes located inside each ear. The tubes are filled with fluid and lined with hair follicles. When the body moves the fluid moves over the hairs, pushing the hairs like wheat in the wind. This feeling is mixed with visual information and sent to your brain to be processed. Games that strengthen balance, visual acuity and spatial memory will develop spatial orientation.

Balance

Strengthen the brain's ability to process inner ear information by using jump rope, hopskotch and hula hoop. You can turn balancing into a competitive game by having a joust. Kick one foot behind you and hold it with both hands. Eliminate others by forcing the competitor out of a ring or out of positions by bouncing into them. Have a timed balance. See how long competitors can stay in an unbalanced position.

Vision

Any game involving catching, throwing, kicking or passing a ball will help players develop visual acuity. You must rely on your eyes to tell you when to catch a ball and you develop a good sense of your three-dimensional surroundings when you must pass or shoot a ball. Start simple by passing a ball back and forth between partners and work your way to games such as basketball or dodgeball.

Brain

Spatial orientation also refers to the ability to remember directions and follow maps. Start simple, in two dimensions, by completing mazes on paper. Work your way to small maps with directions -- of a room, your home or school. Have one team member navigate a simple obstacle coarse blindfolded; teammates must give verbal directions. Eventually, arrange for a scavenger hunt with a map and directions for a large scale area.

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