5 Ultimate Ways to Practice Following Directions With Your Child

Following directions is an important language skill for your child to possess.  The ability to follow directions allows your child to successfully participate in the school day.  By 2-3 years-old, your child should be able to follow some simple 2-step commands (i.e. “Put on your shoes and your hat”).  By 4-5 years-old, your child should be able to follow more complex commands (i.e. “Circle all the fruits” or “Put the book and pencil on the table next to the folder”).  If your child is demonstrating some difficulties following these type of directions, please read below some ways to practice this skill at home.

  1. Simon Says– You can practice single-step and multi-step directions when playing this classic game (ex. “Simon says touch your toes, then your knees”). This game also provides your child an opportunity to work on expressive language as well when he/she becomes Simon and gets to give the directions.
  2. Barrier Games– For these types of games, both you and your child take a piece of paper and place a barrier between you (i.e. a folder).  Give your child directions such as “Draw a circle at the bottom of the paper”.  Please read one of my previous posts for more details on playing barrier games.
  3. Press HerePress Here is a great way to work on following directions with your child.  The book is simple yet interactive for your child.  Each page asks your child to complete another direction such as, tap the circle once or shake the page.  Please click here to read my post on this book for more information.  To purchase the book click here. 
  4. Following Directions Fun Deck– Check out this deck of cards for another way to practice following directions.  The deck comes with connector cards (and, or, before, and after), so you can also practice multi-step directions.  To purchase the deck click here.5. Coloring–  Let your child pick out a picture to color.  Give your child directions how to color the picture.  For example, you can tell your child to first color the nest brown and then the birds blue.  You can let your child give you directions as well to practice expressive language skills.  Crayola offers great free and printable coloring pages.  Check out their site by clicking here.
Tips: Please remember to slow down your rate of speech when giving your child a command.  Also make sure they are looking at you when giving them a direction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s