The ability for children to follow directions is crucial. From properly completing a classroom activity to knowing when and where to line up for recess, children must be able to understand and quickly follow spoken directions. This ability requires two different skill sets: strong auditory processing skills and an understanding of important positional terms such as “right” and “left.”
Each of these following directions worksheets includes verbal instructions for your child to follow. Additionally, each verbal instruction includes the important directional terms “right” and “left” and some verbal instructions include the positional phrase “in between.”
When first introducing your child to the following directions worksheets that ask him to identify which way a person, vehicle or animal is facing, consider writing a small letter L on the left side of the page and a small letter R on the right side of the page. These letters can serve as clues to your child as he considers the position of each item and circles all of the items facing in the designated direction. Once your child is comfortable with these worksheets, you can have him complete them again by printing out a second set - and this time do not write the letters L and R as clues.
As your child completes these worksheets, draw his attention to the fact that his body has a right side and a left side. Periodically ask him to wave his left hand or touch his right ear, for example, to underscore this idea. Playing Simon Says with directions that include a specific side of the body can make this learning more fun.
Another easy way to help your child get comfortable with the terms “right” and “left” is to narrate as you ride together in the car. Tell your child as each turn approaches. Then, you can either point in the direction you will be turning and have your child call out “turning right” (or “turning left”) or you can tell your child which direction you will be turning and then ask him to point the corresponding way. You can play the same game while driving on the highway, narrating lane changes.