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HHS HealthBeat (July 31, 2012)

Space by the numbers

A mother helps her daughter with a puzzle.
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

There may be a special link between learning spatial and number relationships.  Researchers say children who did well on shape puzzles did well later on relationships between numbers, such as estimating locations on a number line.

At the University of Chicago, researcher Elizabeth Gunderson says this indicates parents can help kids get better at skills needed for science, technology, engineering and math: 

“They’re not something you just have or you don’t, so kids can learn a lot from their experiences. And spatial and number activities can really be fun and easily incorporated into everyday activities.”

She says it could include building with blocks and comparing the number of blocks in different towers.

The study in the journal Development Psychology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss. 

Last revised: July 30, 2012