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  • below
  • location
  • under
  • where


  • Provide carpet squares for the children to sit on. Place cut-out shapes or stickers under the carpet squares. Begin by asking the children what is under their bottoms. Then ask them topick up the carpet squares to see what is under them. Ask the children questions to determine what they know about the words under and below.
    Tell the children that today they will be learning how the words under and below are used to describe where something is located.
    Read your favorite book about spatial relationships to the children or select a book from the Story Circle Suggestions below to check out of the library and read.


  • Fraggles Over, Under and Between by Laurie Berns
  • Over, Under, and Through and Other Spatial Concepts by Tana Hoban


  • Find and laminate a photo to place at the bottom of the sand table or tub.
  • Cut out shapes from contact paper.
  • Make Mystery Pictures Folders and Tactile Walk (see p. 220).

Language Enrichment Choices*

  • Show the children three small toys. Then cover the toys with a blanket and point out that the toys are located under the blanket. Secretly remove one of the toys. Uncover the toys and see if thechildren can tell you which toy is missing from under the blanket. Try the game again.
  • Use the words under and below in a sentence. For example, "The car went under the bridge," or "My friend lives in the apartment below ours."
  • Teach the children the American Sign Language signs for under and below (Appendix p. 439). Review the signs for above and over.

Physical Development Choices

  • If you have a parachute, bring it outdoors and play games that allow the children to run under it. If you do not have a parachute, use a large sheet. Give the children directions, such as"all the boys run under the sheet" or "all the girls crawl under the sheet."
  • Encourage the children to walk on a masking tape line with a ball or an orange under their chin. Have them try walking on the line with a book under their arms. Which is easier?
  • Encourage the children to stand with their legs spread apart, and then roll a ball through their legs (by bending over) to a friend who is standing behind them. Discuss rolling the ball undertheir bodies and under their legs.

Social and Emotional Development Choices

  • Sing "Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree." Take the children outdoors and read a book under a tree.

    Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree
    Under the spreading chestnut tree,
    There I held her on my knee.
    We were happy, yesiree,
    Under the spreading chestnut tree.

  • Place a sticker on the underside (bottom) of a lunch or snack plate or cup. Encourage the children to "clean their plates" so they can see the surprise under the plate.

* Toddlers and twos present a wide range of developmental needs, abilities, and interests. For each learning area, select among the following activity and experience choices that are appropriatefor the children in your care.

Cognitive Development Choices

  • Build a bridge with blocks. Invite the children to drive small cars under the bridge.
  • Make a tent by placing a sheet over a table. Invite the children to get under the tent.
  • Tape a piece of drawing paper under the art table and invite the children to go under the table and draw a picture.
  • Tape a picture to the bottom of the sand table or sand tub. Encourage the children to find what is under the sand.
  • Ask each child to show you something he is wearing that is located below his knees. Children may answer their shoes, their socks, or both.
  • Cut out several shapes from contact paper and stick them to the top of a table. Cover the table with shaving cream. Encourage the children to find the shapes under the shaving cream. Can theyname the shapes?
  • Invite the children to explore Mystery Pictures Folders. Glue pictures to the inside of file folders. Cut small flaps on the outside of the folders. Encourage the children to look under theflaps, one at a time, to identify the pictures inside the folder. You should be able to include four or five pictures in each folder. Ask the children to describe or name the mystery pictures.
  • Set up a Tactile Walk for the children. Find fabric and papers with interesting textures and cut them into 10"-square pieces. Glue the squares to poster board and place them in a pathway onthe floor. Encourage the children to walk on the path. Discuss the feel of the pathway under their feet.
  • Problem-solving suggestion: Show the children two identical caps or hats. Hide a small toy under one of the hats. Move the hats around and challenge the children to show you which hat they thinkthe toy is under.


Ask the children to name what is under their feet. Ask the children to show you a body part that is below their knees.

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