Following direction activities for kids

7 Core Following Directions Activities for Kids That'll Improve Listening

Inside: Quick and easy following directions activities for kids that will help them practice self-control, emotional regulation and improve listening skills.

There was a joke traveling around years ago from Carrie On Y’all that said, “Maybe if I start yelling ‘Get your shoes on!’ the night before, we could get to school on time the next day.”

Honestly, the struggle is real.

Kids need A LOT of practice to learn basic life skills.

Following directions activities can support better listening skills in your child.

Teaching kids to follow directions isn’t as simple as doing a listening activity for kids, watching fairy dust shower from above, and seeing your kids transform into magical listeners.

Several years ago I was getting ready to take my son to school. He insisted—like life or death insisted—that he needed to wear his green shoes.

So I helped him find his green shoes, laid them out on the floor, and then realized I made a horrible mistake.

He shook his head and said, “No green shoes, mom. Nooo!”

In exactly two minutes, the green shoes went from being my complaining child’s most prized possession to the most horrible and disgusting shoes one could don.

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Teaching kids to follow directions – let’s simplify.

1. Connection first. Attention follows.

A few brief moments using SAY WHAT YOU SEE®, where you describe what your child is thinking, doing, feeling or saying, makes a big difference. This is the building block of connection, and when kids feel connected to you, they are for more likely to cooperate.

It might sound something like, “You’re drawing a picture with big green squares and red lines.”

No brainer, right? And yet, I still find myself talking to my kids without taking a brief moment for connection.

Sharing a set of instructions before you briefly connect with your child is like speaking foreign language. It can fall flat.

I know I have my child’s full attention when I have two things:

  • Eye contact
  • Eyes level (get down to the child’s level).
2. Be short and specific.

Kids tend to hear a lot of conversational white noise when adults are speaking to them. Say exactly what needs to be said for your child to follow your directions. Trim everything else out.

Instead of… “Hurry up. We gotta get out the door for this appointment. Get your coat lets go.”

Try… “Coat please.” Or, “You’re missing a coat.”

3. Use “wait time.”

This is a great strategy that I learned from a teacher. After giving a set of instructions to your kids, pause for 3-7 seconds to allow their brain to process and apply the information. Research shows kids are more likely to follow directions if you give them “wait time” or a hearty pause.

As adults, we are used to processing information much quicker, but kids…they take time.

Think of it this way: Keeping realistic expectations and waiting is the difference between you giving up and throwing your tea in the air vs. you calmly taking a sip of your tea while you employ “wait time.”

4. Unless you are offering a choice, don’t ask.

If your directions aren’t up for negotiation, keep that door firmly closed. Offering choices is a fabulous way to help end power struggles and enjoy a happier home.

But…everything in life is not always a choice. If you can’t offer a choice within a parental boundary you feel good about, give instructions as a statement, rather than a question.

Instead of… “Can you pick up your toys?”

Try… “I see toys on the floor and it’s time to leave.”

Or if you’d like to offer a choice, you can say something like, “I see blocks and dolls. Show me which one you want to put away first.”

5. Practice using following directions activities.

In order to build great listening skills, kids need a lot of practice…A LOT.

Which makes sense! I think we all can relate to needing a lot of practice before we can get good at anything. I could tell you a few stories about burnt dinner rolls for the past five years, but that’s a story for another day 🙂


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7 core following directions activities for kids.

There are several good ‘ole fashioned standby games to play with kids to help them 1) Listen and hear what you are instructing and 2) Practice following the directions you shared.

1. Simon Says

One person is Simon or Elmo or Dora or Spiderman or Teacher or Whoever, and this person is the “leader.” Simon gives a set of instructions and everyone else follows. The person who doesn’t follow the instructions is “out.” And the person who follows the instructions throughout the game, wins Simon Says.

2. Red Light, Green Light.

One person is the leader who calls out “Red Light” or “Green Light.” When the leader calls out “Red Light,” everyone stops. When the leader calls out “Green Light,” everyone goes. Anyone who doesn’t stop or freeze during “Red Light” is out.

3. Follow the Leader.

Take a walk around your house or outside and whatever you (or the leader) does, everyone else must follow. This is a great game to allow your child to be the leader and have you follow your child. It’s a perfect opportunity to model following directions for your child!

4. Map Game

Try this map game and help your kids work their way through the grid following the directions given. Practice counting and using the words left, right, forward, and backward.

5. Two-step direction games.

Do one of these 2-step direction games with your kids. This is perfect for preschoolers and above! Have your kids follow some of the 2-step directions throughout the day (e.g. Shake your head “yes” and then quack like a duck.) Brilliant!

6. Lego® Game

If you have kids who are old enough to play a board game, try this Lego Game to help your kids practice reading directions and following them.

7. Visual direction activities.

With kids, visual directions are so important! You can make life simpler and fun using visual directions for your kids, such as a printable daily schedule for kids.

  • Bedtime routine cards
  • Morning routine cards
  • Mealtime routine cards

Using routines is a great way to support cooperation and help your kids learn to follow directions.

They are also energy saving, AND a great way to avoid yelling “Green shoes!” ten times every morning or “Eat your dinner!” six times every evening.

Grab your FREE Following Directions Checklist Here!

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19 Activities for Middle School Students to Improve Following Directions

Whether 1-step directions or multi-step directions, students need practice and clear expectations. Students follow hundreds of directions every year at school and at home. In order to improve their ability to process oral directions and listening skills, you can incorporate fun activities into your school day.

Try some of these 19 activities and notice the difference you will see over a period of time, as students improve with following directions.

1. Science Experiments

Incorporate your school curriculum into teaching kids to follow directions. Using science experiments in your school setting will improve academics, engage students, and strengthen students' following directions skills and abilities.

Learn More: Moms

2. Learn to Code

Further developing science skills and learning to code are beneficial for so many reasons. In addition to helping students learn computer science skills, they can also work on fine motor skills and improve following directions skills. Coding is ideal and appropriate for all grade levels.

Learn More: Teach Your Kids Code

3. Following Direction Logic Puzzle

This worksheet takes on the form of a riddle or secret code to be solved. For students who need a break from screen time, let them try to decipher the code by solving the riddles. The following directions worksheet is a good way to also encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Learn More: Centervention

4. Paper Folding Activity 

Simple instructions will be easy to follow and form a unique craft! This activity uses multi-step directions to have students create a paper masterpiece. Students will need to pay attention to directions and details to be successful in this awesome activity.

Learn More: Speech Snacks

5. Boat Craft

This fun and challenging activity allows some creative freedom but requires multi-step directions as well. This activity is great for upper elementary teachers or middle school teachers to use with their students.

Learn More: Pedia Staff

6. Building From Scratch

This activity will require key listening skills. Teaching students to make something with their hands is a great way to improve following directions. This is ideal for motor skills as well. Students may have a harder time working with their hands, so making the teacher aware of expectations is key.

Learn More: Moms

7. Coloring Worksheets

Giving the child directions for this printable activity is key. Lists of directions are included for students to read themselves or for the teacher to call out to them. Precise directions will help students know when to do each step in the process.

Learn More: Tam Aqua K12

8. Summer Olympics Following Directions Game 

This adorable summer Olympics game is great for following directions. Perfectly themed activity sheets are designed for listening activities that focus on teaching students 1-step directions, 2-step sequential directions, and even 3-step sequential directions.

Learn More: Speech Time Fun

9. Leaf Craft

This leaf craft is a perfect hands-on activity for teaching students the importance of following directions. As they listen and perform each task in each step, students' following directions skills will improve with practice.

Learn More: Inspontaneous Speech

10. Following Directions Map

These easily printable maps are easy to use. There are several themes to choose from. Each is accompanied by a list of instructions. Students can read them or listen as teachers read them aloud.

Learn More: Making Learning Fun

11. Star Wars Directions Game 

Fun games, like this Star Wars following directions game, are great for helping students practice how to properly follow directions. This interactive game allows students to work within groups and collaborate and interact with others.

Learn More: Teach This

12. Glyphs

Glyphs are a fantastic resource for upper elementary and middle school students who need to practice following directions. Students will use white drawing paper to draw a picture, based on listening to directions and using what applies to them individually.

Learn More: Teach With Me

13. Before and After Statements

These before and after statements are great for older kids. This is a way to let students interact in groups and follow directions. On slips of paper, you will write in events and use them to complete this activity.

Learn More: Miss Barrett Speech Language

14. Listening Skills Holiday Sheet

These printable worksheets will be helpful for children with language skills needing improvement or for students to practice following directions. They are holiday themed and ideal for key listening skills and multi-step directions.

Learn More: Resources From Rachel

15. Can You Follow Directions Quiz Sheet

This fun quiz-type sheet is helpful in assessing how well students follow directions. This is a great way to see if they can follow targeted directions and if not, where the breakdown occurs so you will know what to work on.

Learn More: The Worksheets

16. Following Directions: Directions Sheet

This directions sheet is a breakdown of 4-step directions. Each section requires students to look ahead to see what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. They are working to follow directions in each step.

Learn More: The Worksheets

17. Relay Races

Relay races get students up and moving. Teachers can customize this activity to get students to practice following directions in a nontraditional way. Students can follow directions and work with their teams to see who can win each challenge.

Learn More: Mr Physed

18. Following Direction Worksheet

This following directions activity is good for working on following directions and literal directions. Students can cut and place items in places, dependent on prepositional directions. This is especially good for bilingual students.

Learn More: The Worksheets

19. Paper Airplanes

Constructing paper airplanes is fun and ideal for practicing following directions. Let students use a template and guide for directions or orally tell them what to do. Either way, they will get good practice and finish with a nice end result.

Learn More: Speech Snacks

Priority direction of the kindergarten


Priority activities of the educational institution for the implementation of the main educational program of preschool education.
The ongoing changes in the kindergarten, taking into account the requirements of the Federal State Educational Standard, are due to the objective need for changes that are adequate to the development of society and the educational system as a whole. Based on previous experience and positive results in health improvement, correctional and developmental, artistic and aesthetic work with preschoolers, kindergarten teachers are aware of the need for changes in the work of the institution. nine0007 The main direction: purposeful socialization of the child's personality, education of a physically healthy, diversified, proactive and liberated preschooler. Improvement of pedagogical systems for children, through the solution of program educational tasks not only within the framework of directly specially organized forms of education (classes), but also the implementation of educational areas in the joint activities of an adult and children and the independent activities of children, and during regime moments in accordance with the specifics of preschool education
The following areas of priority in the activities of the kindergarten are:
· Preservation and strengthening of children's health;
· physical and psychological health protection of children, formation of healthy lifestyle habits;
· ensuring the conditions for the safety of the life of children in kindergarten;
· formation of emotional and volitional qualities and universal values ​​among pupils;
· interaction with families of children as a partnership;
humanization of the goals and principles of educational work with children; nine0007 · raising the educational level of pupils through additional education.

Goals and objectives of the activity of an educational institution for the implementation of the main general educational program of preschool education.
Purpose: creation of conditions for the implementation of the right guaranteed to citizens of the Russian Federation to receive public and free preschool education; the formation of a general culture, the development of physical, intellectual and personal qualities, the formation of the prerequisites for educational activities that ensure social success, the preservation and strengthening of the health of preschool children, the correction of shortcomings in the physical and (or) mental development of children. nine0003

Main tasks:
· To create optimal conditions for the preservation and promotion of children's health.
· To create conditions for leveling the starting opportunities for children of senior preschool age to study at school.
Provision of cognitive-speech, social-personal, artistic-aesthetic and physical development of children, taking into account their individual characteristics and abilities;
· To create conditions for the development of cognitive-speech and artistic-aesthetic abilities of children above the basic level. nine0007 · Education taking into account age categories in children of citizenship, universal values, respect for human rights and freedoms, love for the environment, Motherland, family;
· Ensuring the social adaptation and integration of the child into society and the successful transition to the next educational level - primary school;
· Creation of conditions for maximum involvement of parents (legal representatives) in participation in educational and leisure activities;
· Meeting the additional educational needs of children and parents (legal representatives) and the choice of programs and technologies by kindergarten teachers. nine0003

LLC "Education and Consulting Center

Volgograd 2008-2023


version of the site for visually impaired

90,000 Article 23. Types of educational organizations \ ConsultantPlus

Article 23. Types of educational organizations

1. Educational organizations are divided by types in accordance with educational programs, the implementation of which is the main goal of their activities.

2. The following types of educational organizations are established in the Russian Federation that implement basic educational programs:

1) pre-school educational organization - an educational organization that, as the main goal of its activity, carries out educational activities in educational programs of pre-school education, childcare and care;

2) general educational organization - an educational organization that, as the main goal of its activities, carries out educational activities in educational programs of primary general, basic general and (or) secondary general education; nine0003

3) vocational educational organization - an educational organization that, as the main goal of its activity, carries out educational activities in educational programs of secondary vocational education and (or) in vocational training programs;

(as amended by Federal Law No. 238-FZ of July 13, 2015)

(see the text in the previous edition)

higher education programs and scientific activities. nine0003

3. The following types of educational organizations implementing additional educational programs are established in the Russian Federation:

1) organization of additional education - an educational organization that carries out educational activities for additional general educational programs as the main goal of its activities;

2) organization of additional professional education - an educational organization that carries out educational activities for additional professional programs as the main goal of its activities. nine0003

4. Educational organizations referred to in parts 2 and 3 of this Article shall have the right to carry out educational activities under the following educational programs, the implementation of which is not the main purpose of their activities:

1) preschool educational organizations - additional general developmental programs;

2) general education organizations - educational programs of preschool education, additional general education programs, vocational training programs; nine0003

3) professional educational organizations - basic general education programs, additional general education programs, additional professional programs;

(as amended by Federal Law No. 238-FZ of July 13, 2015)

(see the text in the previous edition)

additional general education programs, additional professional programs; nine0003

5) additional education organizations - educational programs of preschool education, vocational training programs;

6) organizations of additional professional education - training programs for scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel, residency programs, additional general education programs, professional training programs.

(as amended by Federal Law No. 517-FZ of December 30, 2020)

(see the text in the previous edition)

5. The name of the educational organization must contain an indication of its organizational and legal form and the type of educational organization.

6. The name of an educational organization may use names that indicate the features of the educational activities being carried out (the level and focus of educational programs, the integration of various types of educational programs, the content of the educational program, special conditions for their implementation and (or) special educational needs of students), and also additionally performed functions related to the provision of education (maintenance, treatment, rehabilitation, correction, psychological and pedagogical support, boarding school, research, technological activities and other functions).

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