Teaching a Child to Distinguish "Left" and "Right"

How do we learn which is "right" and which is "left"? Scientists believe this process is connected with an internal feeling of the left and right parts of the body. This fact should be taken into account in the process of training children the concepts "on the right" and "on the left". Therefore, begin training children using their own body and only then should you pass onto footwear, gloves, and parts of the world.


Learn to distinguish the right and left hand

First, teach the child to define his right and left hand. At the age of about three years, the dominate hand is clear. Watch attentively and see which hand your child uses more often when taking a fork and a spoon, drawing, or throwing a ball. Most children use their right hand. So tell him – you draw with the right hand. When he learns this, he will define the other hand (that he does not hold a pencil in) is the left. After the child learns to define the left and right hand, explain that all parts of a body on the right side, are also right - a foot, an ear, an eye, a knee, an elbow, and on the left side – left. Consolidate these concepts during the process of a daily routine, for example, the clothing process with explanations. Children like to do exercises on attention, for example, "touch the left hand to the right foot", "touch the right hand to the left ear", etc.


Learn to distinguish the right and left sides

At the age of about 4-5 years, children must be able to define the directions and the relations between subjects, and also use this knowledge to locate and move objects, and move in the specified direction. Explain to the child that what is closer to the right hand is on the right, and that what is closer to the left hand is on the left. This also concerns directions – to the right, to the left. Play games with linear space – put toys in a row and choose one of them. Let the child guess which toy you chose. In case of the wrong response, help him by using the words "more left" or "more right".


When walking outside, pay attention to the route: "now we will turn to the right" or "the bus passed us on the left". Many children learn to define the directions of movement by listening to the GPS navigator in the car with their parents. In the beginning, they hear: "turn left in 100 meters", the subsequent turn of the machine helps with determining the left side. Good exercises for learning the concepts "left" and "right" with preschool children are graphic dictations during which children draw lines in the necessary directions in a dictation.

Mirror image

The most difficult thing is to teach the child to define right and left in relation to the interlocutor. Put on bracelets or watch with the child on the right and face each other. Let the child notice that the object (watch or a bracelet) was turned as the location of the object’s relatively each other changed. It is possible to do a similar exercise using a mirror.

Use the terms "left" and "right" in daily speech more often and the child will learn these vital words without any effort .


Marina Alekseychik

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