As you watch your little baby grow into a little toddler, you realize there are so many things that need to be taught to your tiny tot. Even simple things like teaching them how to recognize left from right becomes such a big ordeal sometimes. The concept of left and right needs to be introduced to your little one at an early age. However, sit back and relax as there are umpteen ways and simple means to help your little one learn this pretty quickly. Even though you as parents feel this concept is too tough for your little one to master at such a young age, there are some wonderful ideas to make sure they learn this without any confusion or difficulties.
What Is The Best Age To Teach A Toddler ‘Left’ And ‘Right’?
The next question that naturally comes to your mind is what age is ideal to help them differentiate left from right. Experts say that toddlers can learn to differentiate left from right from three years itself. The earlier your toddler is introduced to these concepts, the better as he learns other concepts speedily. One most important rule to be kept in mind is never to introduce left and right together to your little one. If you introduce left, stick to that for a few days until she has learnt that rather than confusing her with right immediately.
Tips To Teach Your Child Left From Right
- First find out which is your child’s dominant side: As soon as your toddler begins scribbling or eating on his own, you will be able to discover whether he is left handed or right handed. Focus on this aspect and begin teaching him left from right. If he is a right hander, tell him that the side with which he eats or writes is the right side. This becomes quite easy for him to grasp. Automatically, the less dominant side will be the left
- Sorting activities: Playing sorting activities are a good means to help the child differentiate right and left. For example ask your toddler to sort out his big cars or to the right side and the dinky cars to the left side. This will naturally help him learn the concept quickly
- Play Hokey Pokey: Playing hokey pokey with your child is yet another way to help him grasp the concept of left and right with out any confusion. This game also is ideal for developing the muscle memory of your little one
- Encourage your child to dress by staring on his dominant side: Make it a habit to tell him to always put in his dominant side first. Like tell him to put his right leg inside his pants if he is right handed and so on. Or the right shoe goes in first. This way he will realize left and right very soon
- The Letter L: For a toddler who is totally confused about left and right, it would be a good idea to tell him to put both his palms down. And the hand that shows the letter L between the thumb and forefinger when you lay your palm flat is the left hand. This is indeed a simple and sure way of helping your toddler understand left from right
- Body features: If your little one happens to have a mole or scar on one side of the body, it makes it much easier for him to remember whichever side he has that mole or scar on. On the other hand, suppose they do not have anything like that, just sticking a tattoo or a temporary stamp is ideal enough to help them differentiate right from left
- Perfumed hand: Dab a little bit of fragrant cream or lip balm on either the left or right hand daily for some days and ask them to show you their perfumed hand. Little ones love this and will very soon learn to understand left from right hand
- Crossing the road: Whenever you stand to cross a road with your little toddler, always make it a point to ask for her right hand to hold while crossing. This is another practice that can help your child to differentiate right and left
- A walk around the corner: When you step out with your toddler for an evening walk, just make a rule that he can only do right turns round your block. No left at all. This way, they can easily learn which right is. After a week, change the rule to only making left turns. Within a month they will surely be able to turn left and right without your assistance
All of the above mentioned simple activities are sure to be useful in helping your toddler grasp the concept of right and left. However do bear in mind that this left and right concept has always been quite confusing for little children. And it requires continuous and repetitive activities and lots of patience to teach this to your toddler. And surely your little one will soon learn to distinguish right from left without any hassles.