As a mom (and teacher), I strive everyday to engage, nurture, and expand the mind of my little one.
Here you will find the books, music, and activities most useful to me in my endeavors.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Everyday Learning: Left and Right

I've been working lately with NHV to learn left and right ... in particular her hands and feet :)

Here are a few simple things that have worked for me us:

Play Hokey Pokey ... there's a no brainer for you ;P  
But it's also helpful if you put gloves and socks on before you start playing.  When the song announces, "Put your right hand in," I take off her right glove as a visual and kinesthetic clue.  Same thing with the socks.  Or you can add a sticker to the hand or foot that the song calls for.

Another game we love to play ... and it is a little "gross" ... 
Let Me Smell Those Feet
I don't ever make NHV smell MY feet, but I do pretend to smell hers, and she loves it!  I'll say, "I wonder which foot is stinkier, your right foot - sniff, sniff - or your left foot - sniff, sniff."  I throw in a few dramatic "peee-uuuus" and we start giggling!  Then I'll ask her to raise her right foot so I can get another smell ... and so on.  If feet smelling is too disgusting for you, we've also played Let Me Kiss That Hand :)

I Want To Hold Your Hand ... 
"Which hand do you want me to hold?  Your right or your left?"
Giving choices is a way of helping toddlers feel in control.  And an in-control toddler is a happy toddler, so I am constantly offering NHV a choice ... to the point of being silly really!  But this isn't a silly example.  It has ended hand-holding struggles and reinforced her distinction of left from right.

Which Way Do We Go?
When we're on a walk around the neighborhood and come to an intersection, I let NHV make the decision (again, I think choices are awesome!).  I tell her to STOP and then stand with her arms out like the letter T.  

I say, "Wiggle your right hand.  Wiggle your left hand."  This is a great way to practice the need to stop and listen.  Then, I explain her choices while shaking the coordinating hand.  If we go RIGHT, we'll end up at the big park.  If we go LEFT, we'll end up walking past O's house."  Which way do you want to go?"

Got the Munchies
While NHV is eating a snack like Veggie Booty or Yogurt Bites - something she picks up with her fingers - I'll tell her, "Your right hand has the munchies. See if you can eat two bites with your right hand."

What special tricks do you know for reinforcing left versus right?

No comments: