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Language and Communication Activities to develop understanding and use of position words (prepositions) in, on and under  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


These activities will help your child develop the prepositions in, on and under.

Early years skill:Shape, space and measure
Early years typical range:30-50m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:Maths Shape Space and Measures
P-scales/Curriculum level:P6
TAP skill:Language (old categories)
TAP level:TAP36
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Physical activities

Preposition symbols

Playground equipment

Furniture, boxes, hoops etc.

1. Introduce one preposition concept at a time.

2. Get your child to do an action by saying "Stand on the bench" and then show them what you mean by standing on the bench, showing them the 'on' symbol and then encouraging them to copy you.

3. What other things can they stand on?

4. Once they are familiar with the first preposition, then introduce the next one.

5. Remember to show your child what to do when you introduce a new concept, as well as supporting it using visual clues.

Remember to support these activities with additional visual clues including signing and the symbols.

In addition to working on the prepositions during particular activities, utilise every day opportunities to comment on what your child is doing. For example, by saying "You are on the slide.

If you don't know the sign for a preposition, ask your Speech and Language Therapist.

It may take one or more sessions before the child has understood the first preposition and before you can move on to another one.

Obstacle Course

Various objects such as table, chair, bench, hoop, etc.

Masking tape

Preposition symbols

1. Set up an obstacle course by placing the items in different locations in the room.

2. Use the masking tape to mark the course. Create an X where the child starts and finishes and place the tape between the pieces of furniture so your child knows where to go.

3. Place the appropriate symbols on the furniture. For example, place 'under' by the table so the child knows that they are supposed to go under the table.

4. Set the child off through the course. When they get to the piece of furniture, either use sign to show them what to do, demonstrate yourself or point to the symbol.

5. The course is finished when your child gets to the end. X marks the spot!

It may be easier to do this activity when your child is familiar with the prepositions or if you have another adult to help your child complete the obstacle course.

Have fun!!!

It can be a race with other children.

Obstacle Course with toy animals/puppets

Toy animals/puppets

Real or miniature furniture

Masking tape

Preposition symbols

As above but instead of the child completing the course, they can make the puppet/you/toy animal complete the same or smaller version of the course which they have helped set up.

Hide and seek with toy animals

Table, chair, box, teddy, doll.

Preposition symbols.

1. While the doll is not looking, get the child to hide the teddy somewhere by giving them an instruction and showing them the appropriate preposition symbol.

2. You may need to model a few times for your child to understand what they need to do.

3. Bring the doll back, and ask questions such as "Is teddy under the table?" and get dolly to look under the table.

4. When your child is familiar with these activities, let them tell you where they are going to hide the teddy.

5. Present the child with a choice between two symbols to support their understanding and use of language. For example, "Where shall we hide teddy? Under or in the box?" Saying and showing what you mean.

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