Motor Skills & Orientation

Teaching Left to Right

Differentiating left from right is usually taught and understood during the preschool years and is an important step for reading readiness. Use activities children love to do such as singing songs or playing games. First start by encouraging their use of their own body, before moving onto objects such as shoes.

Orientation Skills Activities

1) Hand Movement - Sweep your hand in a left-to-right direction under words, sentences, and pictures whenever possible.


2) Books - Demonstrate how to open books and turn the pages. Provide the child with many opportunities to look at books and turn the pages.

When reading a book, point to pictures on the left-hand side, then to the right-hand side.

3) Tracing Games - Give the child tracing games where the child must move an object, pencil, or crayon from left to right.


4) Body Movement - Have the child follow a piece of tape or a chalk line from left to right. 

Ask the child to walk, hop, crawl, fly, tiptoe, skip, etc. in a left-to-right direction.

5) Songs - When singing songs or doing finger plays, do the movements from left to right. (Remember if you are facing the child you will need to go from your right to your left.)

6) Art Project - As children do art projects, encourage them to go in a left-to-right direction. They might do printing, weaving, painting, pasting, or other projects by starting on the left.

When using the flannel board or other objects, always arrange them from left to right.

Teach the child his/ her left and right hand. Print the letter "l" on their left hand and "r" on their right hand. Have the child trace around their left and right hand and foot and label them.

7) Yarn Bracelets - Make a yarn bracelet for each child from red yarn for "right day". Throughout the day say, "Show me your right hand." "Shake your right leg." "Touch your right ear." (On "left day" give the child a lemon yellow yarn bracelet.)

Play games, such as the Hokey Pokey and Simon Says, that require children to practice using their right and left.