If asked to turn right or extend your left hand, do you still do a quick mental check of which hand you write or eat with? — Many of us do!
If we as adults need to pause to remember directions, it's easy to understand how toddlers and preschoolers may take a while to learn these concepts.
This is because directions are abstract and there is no clear way to learn or recall them. However, understaing it has been linked to the concepts of laterality and midline, which are the internal awareness of the left and right sides of our bodies and the invisible line which divides our bodies in half.
Keeping this in mind, there are some simple things you can do to help your child solidify this knowledge such as the Hokey Pokey song or putting on shoes and clothes beginning with one side. This week's Co-Create activity is also one such fun game!
Benefits of Direction Coding
This activity is called Direction Coding. It is ideal for toddlers and preschoolers as it offers them a host of benefits.
1. Learning directions - Moving the arrows to match each other will help your child learn left, right, up, and down.
2. Colour recognition - Identifying the colours of the arrows and matching the right ones will help your child get familiar with different colours.
3. Promotes visual discrimination - Telling the colours and directions of each arrow apart will hone their visual discrimination skills.
4. Improves eye-hand coordination - Observing the matching colours of the arrows and moving each arrow in the right direction will develop their hand-eye coordination.
5. Motivates logical thinking - Working to code all the arrows and complete the game will strengthen their logical thinking, reasoning, and problem solving skills.
6. Enhances fine motor skills - Moving the tiny arrows will strengthen the muscles in your child’s fingers and hone their fine motor skills.
Creating the Game
This activity can be enjoyed by children between 3 to 5 years.
1. A piece of cardboard.
3. A sheet of white paper.
4. Black and coloured sketch pens.
How to create this activity:
1. Draw arrows on the white sheet and cut them out.
2. Colour the arrows in 4 colours, according to the pushpins you have.
3. Make two divisions on the cardboard as seen in the above picture.
4. Place 4 arrows in the small division and the remaining on the bigger section. Fix each of the arrows in place with a push pin.
Caution: Make sure to use a thick cardboard or use two cardboards layered one above other to avoid getting hurt by a pushpin. Pushpins should be handled by parents only.
How to play Direction Coding
The arrows on the top section of the cardboard are your 'coding arrows'. This means that the direction of these four arrows will be used to guide all the others arrows on the board. Begin the game by rotating the coding arrows in any direction.
The aim of the game is to match the direction of each arrow in the bigger section with the coding arrow of the corresponding colour. Ask your child to check the colour of each arrow and rotate them in the same direction as its matching coding arrow.
Up the challenge: Once your child has gotten a hold of the game, make it more fun by adding arrows in different colours or varying shades of a colour. You could even time them and have them compete with their friends or siblings!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this activity. If you would like to share your experience playing with this board, tag us at #CoCreatewithshumee. Stay home and stay safe!
Vidushi is a DIY blogger, storyteller, and an author. For more such activities, you can follow her @iracreativeengine on Instagram.