Working on left right discrimination with kids? It can be difficult to teach left right awareness, especially in a virtual environment like teletherapy sessions require. Today’s free therapy slide deck is a left right discrimination activity with a picnic theme, going perfectly with our virtual picnic therapy activities slide deck just released to the site.
We’ve talked before about mixed dominance vs. ambidexterity, which is a concern that comes up when kids don’t use one hand or one side for motor tasks. You’ll want to start there to read more about this issue.
The thing is that the confusion between left and right becomes an issue in play or learning tasks, especially when children are asked to follow directions that require a knowledge of left and right. When children don’t have a strong awareness of left and right, you’ll see confusion and even embarrassment in a group setting.
This other post on hand dominance offers 3 activities to work on left right awareness, and can be a great way to expand this left right discrimination activity to hands-on activities that build motor skills.
Left Right Discrimination Activity
In this particular interactive activity, kids can use the right left discrimination occupational therapy activities to help with these discrimination skills needed for handwriting or establishing a dominant side.
The slide deck is an interactive tool that allows children to sort items that are directionally pointing to either the left or right sides on the screen. There are several left right discrimination activities to work through on this picnic themed slide deck:
Left Right Awareness with Hands
First up is a visual graphic that helps kids to understand their left and right hands using their left hand as a visual reminder.
On the slide deck, kids can look at the visual and follow the directions:
- On both of your hands, stick out your thumb and your pointer finger.
- Now look at what shape that made on each hand! One hand looks like the letter “L” and the other is a backwards “L.”
- The word “left” starts with the letter “L!” This means that the hand with the “L” shape is your left hand!
Kids can use this trick to help them remember which way is left and which way is right.
Left Right Direction Activity
After kids have a kinesthetic and visual approach to remembering left and right, there are slides that work on sorting images into categories of left vs. right.
This interactive portion allows kids to click on the images and sort them into left or right.
If the user needs prompts, remind them to use their hands to make the L with their fingers to recall which side is their left side. This can help to establish memory by using several sensory methods: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic within several repetitions.
Left Right Sorting Activity
Next, you’ll see several slide decks that ask the user to move a circle to cover the item facing either the left or the right. The directions are written at the top of each slide deck and changes on each slide. You can again remind users to use their hands to remember which side of the screen is their left and which is their right.
This can be helpful for teaching left right discrimination because through a screen like in teletherapy services, it can be difficult to address the left or right awareness (especially if there is a screen flipping issue that comes up with teletherapy services).
The picnic themed visuals are fun for a picnic theme and includes things like a grill, hot dog, picnic kids, backpackers, etc.
Left Right Discrimination Matching Activity
Finally, there are several slides that ask the user to move the circle to cover a matching image across the slide. This visual perception activity addresses several areas typically developed through therapy activities:
- Visual discrimination
- Form constancy
- Visual scanning
- Visual memory
- Visual attention
The user can also address eye-hand coordination as they move the mouse or click and drag to move the circles to cover each matching item.
Again, work on left right discrimination by asking the child to name the direction that the item is facing: Is it facing the left or is it facing the right?
All of these left right discrimination activities are powerful ways to help kids with directionality that is needed for functional tasks.
Free left right discrimination slide deck
Want this picnic themed therapy slide deck to work on left right discrimination? Enter your email address into the form below to grab this teletherapy activity.
When kids go through the slides, you can reset the movable items to their original state by clicking the history link at the top navigation bar. Simply click the “last edit” link and then go to the right side bar. You’ll see a link that says “reset slides”. Click this link and then go to the top navigation bar again and click the button that says “Restore this version”. Then, all of those movable pieces on the whole deck will reset to their original spots and you can restart the therapy activities.
Don’t forget to also grab the virtual picnic therapy activities slide deck, too!
Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.