My son is quite often totally oblivious to what's around him. For example: jumping up and down under a table, all of a sudden spinning around with his arms out and smacking the people walking next to or behind him, stopping in the middle of a hallway to pick something up causing the people behind him to trip over him. Now I'm sure many of you will say "that's normal". Yes, I agree, to some extent it is. However his mother is also often totally oblivious of her surroundings as well... as I have noticed are her parents on occasion. In fear of this being genetic, I'd like to come up with some games to help him work on that skill, much in the same way marco-pollo helps folks with directional hearing, or chess helps with predictive analysis, or guessing games with deductive logic. Anyone have any idea of games that might help with this? currently looking at the toddler age, but also thinking forward to the pre-schooler age as well.
Here's my take on spacial awareness, body awareness, kinesthetic awareness, and proprioception.
Train the body with activities like gymnastics or rough and tumble play. Train awareness of the body by talking about these activities and consider breathing meditation.
Many of these are common childhood games in many cultures. They naturally work to better connect the spacial awareness functions of our brains with the body control functions of our brain. And they have positive feedback loops in that the more body control you achieve the more fun the games become.
Also here's a great article, 'LEARNING TO "SENSE" SPACE: Why Kids May Fall Out of Bed' that addresses body awareness. (Found via Gill Connell)
I'm not sure what the issue might be, and with the desription it'd hard to really say (though I know what you mean about people just stopping in front of you without warning) but I'd never consider this a skill you can work out. Although if you are trying to get your child more used to things with his surroundings, some ideas of things you can do:
Good luck with it!