“See, your toy is just below the bed. Go and get it.” Have you ever heard a parent or a guardian giving these instructions to a preschooler? Following directions where kids understand directions like left, right, above, and below is one skill that comes in use in their daily life too. Surprisingly, to make things easier for these young learners when they grow up, inculcating following directions becomes a must-have obligation.
After all, when they are aware of these directions, they are more likely to remember the route to their home and the right path to the school library, and also develop motor skills.
A few activities can make this daunting task much easier for parents and educators as kids can learn the directions and implement them once given in just a jiffy. In this post, we will discuss some of these activities and help you understand how these can aid your little learner.
Following directions: A crucial skill to inculcate?
Students learn to follow directions when they are equipped with the right activities and learning environment. According to research, students can sharpen their working memory and enhance the skill of following instructions. Students’ ability to complete a task eventually increases when their working memory supports the instructions given by the teacher or parents.
Another important research suggests using active listening skills to enhance the ability of students to follow instructions. If students do not process the instruction through listening, they will likely not complete the task with precision. The research also highlights the lack of instructions that affects the student’s ability to listen and comprehend the task. Hence, it is important to actively engage students in instructional activities focusing on listening, building, and developing their working memory.
Geographical direction activities for kids
Presenting activities that help kids understand the basic geographical directions to enhance their motor skills. These activities include directions – left, right, above, and below. These activities are easy and can be played anytime as they are engaging and help create good student-teacher relationships. While these are good for school, they can also be played with friends and siblings at home.
1. Match the Right Fruits
This is a fun activity that enhances hand-eye coordination along with team-building skills. The host may use different elements, including vegetables, shapes, and other objects.
- In this activity, the teachers must draw two whiteboard columns.
- One column shall have the names of the colors (red, yellow, green, orange), and the other column shall have pictorial representations of the fruits (apple, banana, pear, orange)
- Ensure they are randomly drawn, wherein students must go above or below to get the correct match.
- Now, make a team of 2 players each, and each player should once be blindfolded.
- When player 1 is blindfolded, player 2 instructs player 1 to match red with the apple with a marker. The players may say the following statements.
- Go above
- Okay, wait and go below
- Yes, keep going below in a diagonal way
- When player 1 matches the color with a fruit, player 2 should be blindfolded for the activity.
This amazing activity enhances the understanding of directions as both players get an opportunity to follow the directions and also coordinate through active listening.
2. What is Where?
Presenting a useful activity to teach students the concept of the above and below directions. This classic activity engages students in laughter while promoting their general knowledge.
- In this activity, teachers should be quick in giving various questions to the kids.
- Considering the questions, students must decide if the answer is above or below.
- For example, teachers may give the following questions.
- Where is the sun?
- Where is the blue ocean?
- Where do plants grow?
- Where does a kite fly?
- Where can we spot mud?
- Now, if the answer is above, students should raise their hands and clap in the above direction.
- Similarly, if the answer is below, students should bend down and clap their hands below.
With this activity, teachers can be as creative as they aspire. As a team activity, students love listening, understanding, and developing their motor skills through clapping. Also, clapping is a healthy activity as students enjoy watching others being happy around.
3. Associate3. Colors
This is a useful activity to help students understand the importance of every direction and empower their listening skills.
- In this activity, the teacher must speak aloud different statements, and students should go in that particular direction.
- For example, the teacher can say the following statements.
- I choose yellow.
- I choose blue.
- I choose red.
- I choose green.
- Now, associate each color in different directions. Yellow – left, blue – straight, red – right, green – backward.
- Be quick while announcing the names of colors and see how students show their moves.
This engaging activity helps them learn more about direction. This also sharpens their memory as they learn to follow the color for a direction.
General direction activities for kid
Giving directions also means giving instructions; hence, these activities play a good role in making children learn by observing, understanding instructions, and actively listening.
1. How to Draw?
Drawing is an engaging activity where students can freely express themselves and indulge in art. This activity involves the art of taking instructions from the teacher.
- For this activity, teachers should select an easy object for drawing on the whiteboard.
- Instead of coloring, ask students to draw the object step-by-step.
- For example, if it’s a flower, ask students to draw a circle, and simultaneously, teachers should draw it on the board.
This activity gives a visual appeal, and students also learn to follow teacher instructions.
2. Bounce the Ball
Certain Preschool activities enhance auditory memory and support verbal reasoning. Bouncing the ball is a good activity to enhance student interaction while learning to follow directions.
- In this activity, make students stand in a circle and let students pass the ball, and when the music stops, the student with the ball has to perform a task.
- Now, the teacher gives instructions, and the student who has the ball takes action after bouncing the ball once.
- For example, the teacher may say, “Go and shake hands with anyone in the classroom.”
- For this, the student should bounce the ball and complete the task.
- Once the student has completed the task, the ball should be given to the next student.
This activity can be more creative by giving innovative tasks. Such an activity promotes concentration, actively listening, and following instructions.
3. Let’s Eat a Sandwich
This innovative activity will fill the classroom with unique flavors and laughter. Students can enjoy the activity while learning to obey instructions correctly.
- In this activity, ask students to bring the ingredients of a sandwich in their tiffin.
- Teachers must be specific with ingredients so that all students have the same cutlery and ingredients.
- You can ask students to get – 2-3 slices of bread, sliced Tomatoes, sliced Cucumbers, a cheese spread, a dish, and a butter knife.
- Now that all students have similar ingredients, start instructing them purely through verbal communication. The teacher may say the following instructions.
- Place the bread on the dish
- Take the butter knife
- Take cheese spread with the knife and spread it on the bread
- Place two slices of tomatoes on the top right and bottom left
- Place two slices of Cucumbers on the top left and bottom right.
- Take another place and place it on the vegetables.
- In this way, each student understands the preparation of a sandwich, and each one gets done together.
This creative activity is good for boosting focus and concentration while making students learn the importance of active listening.
4. Crayon Play
Crayons are too good for activity as they’re colorful, and kids often engage with them early. Coloring also helps children develop their motor skills and this activity tends to create laughter in the classroom.
- This activity divides the students into groups of 2-3 members per team.
- Now, give each team a different set of crayons.
- Each team should have the same set with similar colors.
- The teacher should now give instructions that can be completed with crayons.
- For example, the teacher may ask students to make the letter F with crayons or form the shape of a square with light-colored crayons.
This activity is fun as kids take instructions while also learning to coordinate with everyone in the team.
That’s it for now..
As preschoolers pave the way to building a strong educational foundation, it is necessary to equip them with engaging activities. Teachers and parents can also use different objects, worksheets, and online games as a learning medium. Storytelling is yet another way to involve children in imagination and memory-building skills.
Use these activities and see the amount of fun they create during playtime. Teachers and parents can also introduce children to various online games, direction worksheets, and other engaging learning methodologies.
I am Shweta Sharma. I am a final year Masters student of Clinical Psychology and have been working closely in the field of psycho-education and child development. I have served in various organisations and NGOs with the purpose of helping children with disabilities learn and adapt better to both, academic and social challenges. I am keen on writing about learning difficulties, the science behind them and potential strategies to deal with them. My areas of expertise include putting forward the cognitive and behavioural aspects of disabilities for better awareness, as well as efficient intervention. Follow me on LinkedIn