30 Personal Space Activities and Teaching Boundaries Games

Personal Space Activities & Personal Space Games

While talking about personal space with kids is great, it’s a real-world application that will help teach them about boundaries. By identifying what personal space is and where the boundaries actually stand, kids will understand how to protect their own space and know how to make space for others.

What better way to learn about personal space than with some games and activities?

These personal space activities for kids are a great way for kids to learn how to respect the personal space of others and work on protecting their own personal space.

A little low-pressure, intentional, playful learning will always help drive home an important topic. (These personal space activities and games would also work well as a way to get the conversation started.)

Personal space and boundaries for kids are an important (but tricky) topic to cover. Use playful personal space activities and games to help kids understand.

Finding activities and games that were designed for teaching personal space was tricky. I’ve searched out a list of kid activities that can be modified and used as personal space activities to help teach the concept of personal space.

If you have some others in mind please add them in the comments.

Personal Space Activities and Games for Kids to Learn About Their Body  

When kids feel comfortable with their bodies, understand their bodies, and can identify parts of their bodies they can defend their personal space easier.

Saying, “Your hand is really close to my face, will you back up a bit.” will be much easier if they know what a hand and face are. Look through all of the following body awareness activities and see which one will work best for your family. (Or mix and match ideas!)

  • Hokey Pokey Roll & SingI Can Teach My Child is especially great for very young kids who are just starting to learn about their bodies.
  • All About Me Bones – Confidence Meets Parenting
  • Move Them Bones Skeleton Yoga – Yo Re Mi has a great video for moving body parts as they get to understand what they are.
  • Life Size Body Art – Candice Ashment Art
  • Simon Says – Have one person call out and action using different body parts. Everyone else follows that action ONLY if the leader started with Simon Says. An example would be Simon Says put your hands above your head. If someone does an action when Simon Says was not used, they become Simon.

Personal Space Activities and Games for Kids to Study Body Language

Reading body language plays a HUGE part in personal space, and it can be a pretty difficult subject to teach.

I’ve compiled a few ideas and added tips on how to use them to start practicing the art of understanding body language.

  • Emotional Animals Game – How Sweeter It IsThis game is fantastic! And simple (we love simple, right?) If you don’t want to make blocks, just tape the words onto dice. Each time your little one works to figure out how to show emotion, they are putting conscious effort into learning about body language (and having fun at the same time).
  • Funny Body Parts – Playing and Learning Begins at Home. This silly game would be a great way to start looking at body language in pictures. Try to provide pictures that show real emotion. Ask your kids to design an angry person, an excited person, and a sad person. Talk about how they can tell the person is feeling that way. Is it their eyes? Or maybe the position of their hands?
  • Pipe Cleaner People – Use Your Coloured Pencils. I found a few different versions of pipe cleaner people, this one really spoke to me as a way to show body language. It would make a really fun personal space activity. Start by forming 3 or 4 people. Give their bodies dramatic language. Ask your kids to find the person who is excited, sad, or uncomfortable. Have them position the people as though in a story. This guy is too close, so she looks uncomfortable.
  • Simple Stop Action –  Inner Child Fun. Once you have the pipe cleaner people made, you can add even more personal space practice by creating a simple stop-action movie that they can watch again and again!
  • Feeling Faces CardsNCPMI has a great printable with a wide range of emotions and real children displaying their feelings.

Personal Space Activities for Kids to Practice Communication and Consent

When kids are learning about personal space, they need to be able to communicate what they want and need. They must also be able to hear the needs and wants of others.

These activities are great ways to practice communication. You can take them a step further and discuss consent and talking to someone they trust about their boundary needs.

Personal Space Games and Activities for Kids to Play with Space

This list of games and activities allows you to experiment with personal space in a fun way. Make sure that while you are playing you pay attention to body language and practice communicating how it feels to have someone in that space.

  • Rabbit Hole – The Inspired Tree House
  • Teamwork activities – Confidence Meets Parenting
  • Control – O – Meter – Autism Teaching Strategies
  • Hip Waddle – Have two kids stand side by side. Arrange a ball or balloon between them. They will have to adjust their distance to keep the ball in place. If they get too far, it will drop. Make it even more challenging by having them move through the room while keeping the ball between them.
  • Newspaper Dancing – Mrs. King Rocks
  • Personal Space Bubble – Each kid gets a hula hoop. Have them stand in the center of their hoop, holding it around their waste. Walk around the room using the hula hoop as a guide for how much space they have between things and people. Talk about whether this is too much space, just the right amount of space, or not enough space for them to be comfortable.

Personal Space Books for Kids

Books are a great way to approach uncomfortable topics. I found two books that come at personal space from different angles. These are affiliate links.

Personal Space Synonym

We’ve used the terms personal space and boundaries. These words might be great for some kids and not resonate with other kids. Here’s a list of words that can be sued in place of personal space.

  • personal distance
  • proximity
  • private space
  • private time
  • alone time
  • separation
  • solitude
  • retreat
  • room to move
  • breathing space
  • comfortable distance

These personal space activities for kids should get you started! Add more to the comments or just let us know which ones are working for your family.

22 Comments

  1. What a fantastic article!!!! Thank you for sharing these ideas and our Rabbit Hole Activity! We love the new twist that you put on the activity!!

  2. What a fantastic idea! Teach them young and with good habits and gain confidence. Shame so many adult’s still don’t understand the personal space aspect.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Mom & Kid Horoscopes: June 22-28 | Momstrology
  4. hi my names kynm im 14 and i have ADHD and i dont like like my personal space being invaded other wise that person might get punched in the face but not on purpose please email me if you have any suggestions for me thank you for reading this this will help me a lot

    1. Hi Kynm! I’m so glad you wrote and what a fantastic question. I love that you are looking for solutions to something that is uncomfortable for you. I want to start out by saying that I don’t have any experience with ADHD, because of that I may miss important points in my answer.

      Whenever I have a part of my life or myself that I want to address I do my best to nail it down to a specific problem. That makes it easier to find solutions. You might try making a list of times when you feel the most tense because of people in your space. Is it when you are switching classes and everyone is moving through the school quickly? Is it on the bus or at the lunch tables? Is it at home, maybe a sibling sitting too close while you play a game.

      Once you have the list you can start to think through solutions (one at a time). Of course some solutions might work for more than one situation. I find that knowing ahead of time what I want to say or do helps me in the actual moments of tension.

      If you have a parent, friend or teacher you are comfortable talking to about this, it’s great have someone who can listen to your ideas, give you more ideas and check in with you to see how it’s going.

      I hope this was helpful.

      A friend shared this facebook page, it might be something good for you as well. https://www.facebook.com/additudemag/?hc_location=ufi

  5. Great article!How do you teach this to a toddler under two? She likes her space like her parents but sometimes she is curious. Now that she’s bigger and is not carried as often, she doesn’t understand that her body language is an open invitation for ppl / in laws/relatives to keep getting in her space or do what they want. Which I am not comfortable with. As it can get invasive or overbearing. When she does show that she is not interested, ppl, will still follow, continue, or try different tactics.. Are you able to email me privately?

    Thank you.

  6. Wow that is a great post about teaching personal spacing to kids! We teach such and much more activities like this to our kids at Nanny’s Nest Preschool.
    Best Regards,
    Mina From Nanny’s Nest Preschool.

  7. “Help your kids learn about healthy boundaries and personal space with our fun activities and games. Discover fun, creative ideas to teach your kids the importance of respecting others’ personal space!”

  8. I love the idea of incorporating games into teaching children about personal space and boundaries! As a parent, I know how difficult it can be to explain these concepts to young children, but through play and fun activities, it can make all the difference. I’m excited to try out some of these games with my own kids and see how they learn and grow from them. Thank you for sharing!

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