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Language and Communication Understand and use prepositions  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


To understand words, signs or symbols that describe positions for example 'in', 'on', 'under', behind, in front of

Early years skill:Shape, space and measure
Early years typical range:22-36m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:Maths Shape Space and Measures
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P6
TAP skill:Language
TAP level:TAP36
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info

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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Physical Activities

Materials to use can include: playground equipment, furniture, boxes, hoops, bean bags etc

Show the child how they can be 'on', 'in', 'under' etc these objects. When they are doing an action, say where they are, for example, 'you're under the slide', 'you're on the swing', 'you're under the blanket'.

You can extend this by giving the child instructions containing the prepositions you are working on.

Hide and seek with toy animals

Table, chair, box, teddy, doll

While the doll is not looking, get the child to hide the teddy somewhere by giving them an instruction for example 'put him under the chair'. (Work on no more than two or three prepositions at a time). The doll comes back and asks questions such as 'Is he on the chair', 'Is he under the table'

Give the child an opportunity to say where to hide the teddy. Give them a forced alternative, for example 'shall we put him in or under the box' using a sign for each preposition or physically showing the two positions of the teddy along with each word.

Lotto game

Lotto cards containing pictures of things in different positions, for example teddy on the table, teddy under the table etc.

Tea party

Dolls, tea-set

Obstacle course

for example: hoops, table, chair

Giving a puppet instructions

puppet, objects such as spoon, cup, brush etc.

Tidy up
Nursery Rhymes


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