How to Improve Spatial Relations Skills for Adults

By Tiffany Raiford; Updated April 25, 2017
Creating art helps spatial relationships skills.

Spatial relation is the distance between objects. Spatial relations skills begin at infancy, when a baby begins learning the world through touch and relating the size of objects to the size of his own body. As the child grows older, he continues to use his body as a measurement tool, relating the distance of an object from his body to the size of the object based on his body. This form of spatial relation improves with age, as knowledge grows. As an adult, you can improve your spatial relation skills by practicing a few basic concepts.

Practice differentiating between numbers. Spatial relations play a large part in the successful learning of math skills because the distance between numbers is imperative to reading mathematical equations. Practice reading numbers by defining the space between them. For example, go over flashcards with numbers such as 14 and 1, 6 and 8 written on them. Identify the numbers on the card and whether it is one number, such as 14, or separate numbers, such as 1, 6 and 8, by visualizing the spatial relation between each number – if, that is, it exists.

Learn visual discrimination. Spatial relations also play a role in your ability to read, and as an adult, you can improve your reading abilities by recognizing spatial relations in reading. For example, read a sign and determine the letters on the sign by first taking in the entire sign. Look at the background image and then separate the letters on the sign from the image by noting the change in colors, shapes and pattern. Visualize each letter based on the number of humps in the “N” and “M” and the number of lines in letters such as “T” and “I.” This practice teaches you to more quickly identify differences by separating shapes, colors, patterns and other identifying factors of letters and images while reading.

Practice putting puzzles together. The small pieces of puzzles help those with spatial relation problems learn to see small pieces as part of a whole, which allows you to learn to focus on the individual aspects of an object and its relation to the whole.

Read a map and practice following directions based on the information you gleaned from the map.

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.