Investigating spatial relationships in the EYFS & KS1
Children understand physical ‘laws’ when manipulating objects in space.
Depending on the age and ability of the child this exercise can require some adult support, but it’s worth helping them understand the principals at play, as this understanding is a transferable skill which will extend the building experience in future structures.
You can begin by asking the child if they can build a closed square; like the walls of a house. They will need four squares for the four sides, and four other pieces with 90° angles in them (the curves look best and simplify the skill being learned). For younger children you may need to demonstrate the shape you want them to build.
The child will be able to put four squares together using three 90° curves, but once they have put the fourth square into its slot, they will not be able to put the final curve in to close the square. We’ve designed the u-nu slots to have a little give, but there simply is not enough space to slot in the final curve.
The child will need to build the structure in two halves and join them together in order to fit the last 90° curve into place. This may be learnt by the child through trial and error but it is worth helping the younger child to understand this principle through demonstration.