If you are a parent or caregiver of a young child, you probably find yourself repeating requests to follow directions more than a few times a day. It is tough when little ones are trying to process all of the information that comes at them. In any given day they are learning new things, seeing new things and being parented from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. One way you can get little ones to understand following directions is to make it fun. Even with my kids at 12 and 15, they still do best when I make a game of something. If you want some really fun ideas to help your kids follow directions better, here are a few ideas:
- Think Like A Child: When you get a bit frustrated that your kids aren’t doing everything you tell them, remember they are still little kids. When we as parents fire off so much information at our kids on any given day, it is not hard to see why they struggle. Just remember they may not have been able to process your requests and they need you to be patient.
- Get On Their Level: As adults, we like it when we speak with someone and they make eye contact. When they do, we are assured they are actively participating in a conversation, both hearing and speaking. We need to do the same with our kids or we cannot be sure they did take in what we said. I still ask my kids to look at my eyes and repeat what I said so we are all on the same page.
- Praise: When we do have our children do as we have asked, praise them. Tell them you are proud of them and why. If you ask your child to put away their toys and they do, tell them you are proud and be descriptive about what they did. This helps younger kids connect what it was that made mommy happy. Otherwise they could think it was their pink shirt or smile they gave that made us proud.
- Be Fun: When possible, make a game when you are giving directions. Sometimes I will make up a game of doing chores or when I ask them to do something. Sometimes if they don’t so as I ask the first time, I just get silly. I will say something like “If you don’t bring me your dishes, I will tickle you”. They won’t bring me the dish because they want the tickle time, but when we are through, they will do as I ask. Another good source to teaching younger kids to follow directions are with board games. One company that has hundred of great fun stuff for kids of all ages is Super Duper Publications. You can find products that help with everything from counting, to reading, following directions and even fun therapeutic products.
Get Your Child To Follow Directions
As a parent to a child with autism, I know the importance of finding the right tools to best teach your child. I have researched online for the best products and I have had recommendations from our occupational therapist and our psychologist. For me, I am always open to trying something new and different if it will help. If you are trying to get your child to follow directions, I was sent two great games for that very thing.
Jeepers Peepers Glasses Game-$29.95: This is a great game for kids of any age. This question and answer game is great for helping your kids with skills like answering questions, solving problems and putting like items into the right category. The kids take turns wearing the glasses with a card in it and they ask yes or no questions to the group to try and guess the photo on the card.
The game comes with:
- 6 pairs of Jeepers Peepers glasses
- “My Cue Cards”
- 101 photo cards (4″ x 5″)
- Spinner and bingo chips
- Instruction booklet
Ring Bling Game-$29.95: This game is great for younger kids that struggle with following directions. The game is really simple to play and easy to learn. Each kids choose the color hand they want and take turns performing simple to follow directions like “Bark Like A Dog” or “Beat Your Chest Like A Gorilla”. When the child performs the action, they get to spin the spinner which will direct them to do 1 of 3 actions: earn 1 or 2 rings for their hand or give a ring to a friend. Not only do your kids get help with following directions, but they also get to have a great time doing it! Both Jeepers Peepers and Ring Bling can be purchased online at Super Duper.
One reader will win a $50 gift certificate to be used at Super Duper.