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Activities to Teach Children How to Follow Directions

author image Shelley Frost
Activities to Teach Children How to Follow Directions
Give your child instructions to build a block structure. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Learning to follow directions is a skill that proves useful in many areas. Children need practice at following directions to help them excel in school. The Building Blocks website also points out that following directions helps kids stay safe in emergencies and in everyday situations. Many activities teach kids to follow directions in an entertaining format.

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Coloring Page Directions

A blank coloring page creates the basis of an activity for following directions. The activity works well in a group but can also be used with one child. Each person participating needs the same picture and a set of the same crayons. Color a copy of the picture ahead of time to serve as a reference. Give directions for coloring each section of the picture. For example, you might instruct the kids to color the flower red, the sun yellow and the grass green. Display your picture so the kids can compare their finished product with yours. If they followed the directions, each picture should look similar.

Direction Cards

Picture or word cards break down the directions to complete a specific task. Write or draw each step in a process, such as baking cookies or completing a craft. Choose an activity that has specific sets that must be followed for success. This helps the kids realize that all steps are critical when following directions. The kids look at each card and complete the corresponding step in order. If they follow the steps exactly, they should be able to finish the project.

Treasure Hunt

A treasure hunt is essentially a list of directions to follow to find a reward. Create a set of directions or clues that lead the kids to the end of the treasure hunt. The kids follow each step to find the next clue. Another option is to draw a map with specific directions. This might include directing the kids to take a set number of steps or go to specific landmarks. If the kids follow the directions correctly, they are rewarded with the treasure at the end.

Block Structures

Blocks are popular with children, but they also work well to teach kids about following directions. Create a block structure ahead of time. The complexity of the structure depends on the age of the kids. Give the kids step-by-step directions to reconstruct the block building. To give the kids a chance at giving directions, let one child build his own block structure. He then gives the other kids directions to build the structure. This helps kids break down a task and learn the importance of including all steps.

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