Directional Worksheet

A few weeks ago I overheard Liam teaching Harrison how to build a spaceship. (Perhaps I should clarify that was a Lego spaceship?) Liam was giving directions such as “Put the red Lego on the right of the blue Lego.” These directions totally surprised me—did Liam really think his little brother understood left from right?

As I walked over to the boys, Liam was repeating with frustration “No, Harrison, on the RIGHT!” Since then Harrison thinks he understands left from right and describes things accordingly. (Make that tries to describe!)

It’s been so convenient for Liam to understand directions that I thought I would go ahead and begin teaching Harrison. So, this week’s worksheet focuses on left and right. What tricks do you have to teach your younger kids the concept of right and left?

11 thoughts on “Directional Worksheet”

  1. Have your son raise his index finger and thumb with his left hand. When extended, these two fingers form the capital letter L. so the hand that makes the L is the left hand. It doesn’t work with the right!

    Also, to teach about left and right shoes and which one goes on which foot, I use a permanent marker and make happy faces on the outside of the shoe (on the side of your two big ankle bones). The happy faces must be kissing and that is how you know your shoes on the correct foot.

    If your child masters the letter L thing with his fingers then the other trick that works for shoes in placing the letters L and R on the inside of the sole of the shoe.

    I hope these explanations are clear.

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      • Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this — but the finger thing totally did NOT work for me. For the longest time (as in not until I was an adult) I couldn’t understand that the problem with the L on my right hand was that it was backwards. As a kid, I’d look at both fingers and think, hmmm they both seem to make an L (because depending on how you look at it it is still an L shape). I figured it out because of the Pledge of Allegiance at school — putting your right hand over your heart — that is how I remembered it as a kid.

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        • The left hand L never worked for me either. Also “your right is the one that you write with” didn’t work even though I am right handed. I would actually have to write something to see which words looked worse. Apparently my parents didn’t notice that I never learned left from right. In middle school, I finally found something that worked for me, though it took a while… “West is left” (both have the short e sound) paired with “West and East spell WE.” When driving, I always hoped nobody would give me last minute directions using left or right. Sadly, I didn’t actually LEARN my left from right until I was 27 and teaching my 2 year old. I am making sure he learns them early. Now, at this point, you probably think I’m an idiot and that your kid could never be this hopeless, so I would like to share with you that I was always a straight A student, got a perfect score on my math SAT, had a 4.09 GPA, and graduated high school in 3 years. No matter how smart your kid is, you always need to realize that there might be some random thing that they just don’t get.

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  2. We were just talking about right and left with my girls a couple of nights ago. Nifty to find this to aid them in teaching this. Thanks!

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  3. I may have started later on this than others, but now that my 3 and 4 yr olds are starting to form letters/ learning to write at school and they are both right-handed, I say “right is the hand that YOU write with” and I do tell them not everyone does but it seems to work.

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  4. I’m sure your child has completely mastered left and right by now – seeing as it is a year later. But this is something that I learned from a dear friend and it works wonderfully! Both of my boys knew their right and left before age 2. As soon as they learn to walk start teaching them. When you are crossing the road (whether they are holding your hand or you are holding them) instead of telling them to look both ways say, “Look to your right, are there any cars coming?” and same for the left. it is time consuming and hard when in a hurry but well worth the extra 30 seconds – 1 min. My 2 year old now gives me directions when we go to the store and he does it perfectly!

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