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  • high
  • up
  • where


  • Hang colorful streamers from the ceiling over the circle time area. Ask the children to lie on their backs and look up at the streamers. Discuss the location of the streamers. Ask the childrenquestions to find out what they know about the word up.
  • Tell the children that today they will be learning how the word up is used to tell 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.


  • Baby Dance by Ann Taylor
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider by Pam Schiller
  • Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks


  • Gather empty toilet paper tubes and pictures of animals.
  • Get a pulley (optional).

Language Enrichment Choices*

Sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with the children."What was the spider doing before the rain came?""What did she do when the rain stopped?"

Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider
Went up the waterspout.
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out.
Up came the sun
And dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider
Went up the spout again.

Use the word up in a sentence. For example,"I watched the kite soar up in the air." Teach the children the American Sign Language sign for up (Appendix p. 439).

* 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.

Physical Development Choices

Blow bubbles for the children to chase. Challenge them to blow the bubbles to keep them up in the air.

Show the children how to toss beanbags up into the air.

If space is available outdoors, let the children help you fly a kite. Discuss the location of the kite when it is up in the air.

Sing "The Grand Old Duke of York" with the children."Where did the Duke march his soldiers?"

The Grand Old Duke of York
The grand old Duke of York (salute)
He had ten thousand men. (hold up ten fingers)
He marched them up to the top of the hill, (point up)
And he marched them down again. (point down)
And when they're up, they're up. (stand tall)
And when they're down, they're down. (squat)
But when they're only halfway up, (stoop down)
They're neither up nor down. (open arms and shrug)

Social and Emotional Development Choices

Place little ones on your shoulders and take them on a tour of the room. "What can you see from your high-up perch?" Do "'Round the House" with the children. Discuss themouse's walk up the stairs. If there are stairs in the school take the children for a walk up and down the stairs. Count the stairs or say "up, up, up we go" as you climb thestairs.

'Round the House
'Round the house, (use index finger to trace a circle on the child's open palm)
'Round the house,
Goes the little mousie
Up the stairs, (walk index finger and middle finger up the child's arm)
Up the stairs,
In his little housie.
(tickle the child under the chin)

Cognitive Development Choices

  • Take the children outdoors to watch the clouds. Discuss the location of the clouds up in the sky. Watch for airplanes and discuss their location, as well.
  • Tie a piece of yarn or string to the ceiling. Show the children how to string empty toilet paper tubes up the string. It is a good idea to use a long string that will curve a bit before the tubesstart to fall. You can use this activity to discuss the effect of gravity and the concept that down is the opposite of up. Ask the children what happens to the tubes when they try to string them upthe string. Even though the concept of gravity may be too difficult for little ones to understand, you can still mention that it is gravity that makes this task difficult. Explain that gravity iswhat makes a ball fall down when you toss it up.
  • If available, attach a pulley to the ceiling and then run a rope through it. Attach a bucket to one end of the rope. Show the children how to make the bucket go up by pulling the rope through thepulley. Safety Warning: Do not let children play with the pulley unattended. If a child lets go of the rope, it can fall and hit that child or another child.
  • Invite the children to toss wadded paper up in the air. "Why won't it stay up?"
  • Problem-solving suggestion: Show the children pictures of animals, including some that fly. Help them decide which animals are seen up in the sky. "What body part do flying animals have thatwe don't?"


Ask the children to tell you something they have learned about up. Ask your "not yet talkers" to show you something that is up.

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