Activities to improve spatial awareness

Spatial awareness is the ability to visualise patterns of space, such as depth and distance, and the associated ability to mentally relate these spatial patterns to a sequential order of time.

If you have suffered a stroke or serious head trauma, you may temporary lose some of your spatial awareness, such as your ability to estimate the distance between one object and another. Some quick exercises can help improve your spatial awareness.

Vocal Commands

Work with another person who can vocally command you to walk in different directions and stop on command. Practice this activity for several minutes each day. Moving in different directions and giving yourself a variety of movements can hasten the develop of your movement-based spatial awareness, because it teaches your brain to spatially orient your body in more than one way. Moving just backward and forward or to the left and right can limit spatial awareness development.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Improving your hand-eye coordination will also help you improve your spatial awareness, because it will teach you reactive measures relative to distinct actions. Examples of activities that can improve your hand-eye coordination are following the beating of a drum along by someone else -- i.e., repeating her set of beats after she has finished -- and playing computer or video games. The latter exercise may be more challenging for someone whose spatial awareness is underdeveloped, as there are typically more actions and background activity going on that require more focus than a drumbeat.

Puzzle Solving

Solving visual piece-based puzzles such as jigsaw puzzles can help improve spatial awareness because it demonstrations how different pieces need to be assembled to create a larger and more comprehensive image. The intense concentration required to complete a jigsaw puzzle will also help improve overall focusing skills, especially if the patient practices using different jigsaw puzzles each time he does the exercise.


Once you are comfortable walking and have enough spatial awareness to walk around rooms and houses without problems, move on to sports such as basketball and baseball to help further the development of your spatial awareness skills. Even if it is just an informal pickup game or simply throwing and catching, you will learn how to quickly determine the distance of a ball from you, how fast it is travelling, and when it will reach you.