This concept is just plain hard. I struggled with this as a young child, and even today when giving someone directions, I have to stop and think before I decide whether it’s a left or right turn. Maybe this is due to the fact that I am left-handed; us lefties have it rough ;) It’s hard to explain left and right to a child, so in this song I describe the same method I used so long ago:
The sky is up,
The ground is down,
But if you take a look around
There are other ways to go,
Left and right are what you need to know.
Hold up your hands
And reach your fingers to the sky,
Point your thumbs in,
Do you wanna know why?
Well the hand that makes an L
Is the left one.
The other is the right,
And now you’re halfway done.
Stretch your arms to your sides
As far as they can go.
Look at your left hand
And you will know,
That this way is left,
And the other way is right,
You are learning your directions,
And that is outta sight!
Do you have a better way for teaching left or right? If so, please share! You can never have enough tools in the box when it comes to teaching skills like this one.
This is great, thanks!
My grandson just turned 4 years old. He started imitating the sound of turn signals in the car the other day. That led to a new car game. First I asked him to point in the direction of the turn signal. After a few minutes I started saying the direction the turn signal arrow was pointing. Then he started repeating it with me.
A few more turns and I asked him to tell me which direction the turn signal arrow was pointing. I was surprised at how quickly he caught on and needless to say we had lots of fun.
He taught the “turn signal game” to his parents that evening. The next day when he got in the car, he immediately wanted to start playing. We ran some errands and I realized when we got home he had 100% accuracy. He also started looking at traffic signals and signs to find arrows and would tell me which way they were pointing. The time went quickly and no complaints or cries of, “When are we going home,” or, “Are we there yet?”
We have other similar games we have come up with if anyone is interested. They all grew out of paying attention to what he was interested in, which is a good indicator of a child’s developmental readiness for new concepts.
Thanks for letting this proud grandma share her story.
Hi Maryam! Thank you so much for sharing such an awesome story with me. You are no doubt incredibly proud! You’re absolutely right – the key to making learning fun and effective is to make it relevant to a child’s interests. I’m sure there are many other cool moments like this to be had :)