top of page

The Trajectory Schema 

The trajectory schema is an interest in lines (vertical, horizontal and diagonal). Many of us are aware of children who enjoy jumping, throwing and running – all signs of a child exploring a trajectory schema.  

Providing the right environment for a trajectory schema

  • We can provide lots of different resources that move in a straight line or create straight lines. For younger children this can be in the form of sensory experiences that we provide and for older children resources can be added in line with areas of development.


  • A trajectory schema usually requires space, not just the breadth of space but the height of space available is important. Think about whether children can drop items from a height in addition to throwing and rolling them along a floor. 

Maths Ideas

  • Children will naturally develop concepts of maths through their exploration of lines as they start to understand length, distance, shape and connections. For children who are exploring lines, number lines are the perfect way to create an interest in number. You can create tactile number lines using playdough which will allow children to line numbers up and develop an understanding of which numbers sit alongside each other.

  • You can create number lines outside to run along or to throw objects along, again developing those concepts of distance and number. In addition to this, you can measure height and order children in a line from shortest to tallest. 

Sensory Play Ideas

Babies need lots of opportunities to explore trajectory movements visually and physically. You can provide different experiences that will allow children to watch and explore movement:


  • Blow bubbles for babies to watch and catch.

  • During tummy time babies will reach out to touch and grab items. You can create a sensory ring by attaching fabric scraps to a wooden hoop for babies to grab and move.

  • Create mobiles in the outdoor area, allowing young babies to watch how different items move in the wind. Think about different items you can use such as CDs and lengths of fabric.

  • Do you have windows that the children can access to watch the movement of people and traffic going past?

  • Provide opportunities to see how water moves. Add guttering to allow children to create water ways. 

bottom of page