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CLEAN UP UP UP IMG_1157.jpeg

Clean Up, Up, Up!
by Ellen Mayer

Daddy and his little one are cleaning up before dinner. Daddy describes what they do, using spatial relationship words and phrases like up, down, inside, outside, next to, and under.


Activities for Clean Up, Up, Up!:

Clean Up! (English)

Estamos Limpiando (Spanish)

Resources for Clean Up, Up, Up!:

Full Book Review (English)

Full Book Review (Spanish)

Brief Book Review (English)

Brief Book Review (Spanish)

Who knew cleaning up could be so much fun?


Topics: spatial sense, spatial vocabulary


Activities To Do Together:

  • Introduce positional words (under, over, next to, on, etc.) and talk about spatial relationships. 

  • As part of your daily routine, talk with your child about where things are located and their positions. 


Questions for Mathematical Thinking:

  1. Use spatial relationship language to describe things around you when you are with your child. Make sure to ask open-ended questions. 

  2. Explain to your child where you are in relationship to other objects, for example, “I am sitting on the couch between two pillows”. Then ask your child to explain where they are in relation to another object.           

  3. While at the dinner table, ask your child to explain the location of different foods on the table, or silverware, chop sticks, plates, glasses, napkins, etc. For example, “The fork is next to the plate.” Or “The apple slices are on the plate.”


Vocabulary for Building Math Concepts:    

back, behind, below, beside, down, everything, high, inside, next, on, outside, time, top, under, up

Please check out the Book Guide for Clean Up, Up, Up! for more!

Online External Resources for Clean Up, Up, Up!:

  • Free downloadable songs related to the book from the publisher’s website: Starbright Books

  • Three spatial relationship activities for preschoolers Development and Research in Early Math Education (DREME) Article: The Why and What of Spatial Relations

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