Following Directions Activities & Games

Instructor: Leah Salyer
Following directions is a learned skill that all students must master. Read on for activities that can help reinforce students' ability to follow directions in the classroom.

Simon Says

Playing Simon Says is a great way for students to practice following directions! You can play the role of 'Simon' or pick a student to play this part. Students will have to follow the directions called out by 'Simon,' but only if the direction is preceded with 'Simon says'. Students who do not follow these instructions will be out of the game, which is played until the last student remaining is designated the winner.

Walk and Stop

You can use music to create an upbeat and exciting environment for young students who are just learning how to follow directions. Ask children to walk while the music is on and stop once the music stops. You can also change up the directions to make it more interesting for older students by asking them to run, jump, skip or dance while the music is playing.

Color by Numbers

Coloring by numbers is a quick and easy activity that reinforces following directions. Provide students with worksheets showing a picture that is sectioned off. Each section will be labeled with a number. Students will follow the directions you provide to properly color the picture. For example, the directions might say 'Color all the 2's red'. Free color by numbers worksheets can be found with a quick internet search or by copying a coloring book page after adding numbers of your own.

Hunting for Treasure

Students love a treasure hunt! Help them learn to follow directions by splitting students into teams or small groups and giving them each a set of clues. Students follow one clue to the next until the treasure is found at the end of the game. The treasure will only be found by those who are following directions properly and can be anything you desire, such as a special pencils, stickers or books.

Building Blocks

Begin this activity by showing students a pre-built structure made from blocks. Divide the students into pairs and provide them with a list of clearly written directions that tells them how to recreate the structure using blocks of their own. You can instruct students to work together to follow the instructions or have one student read them while the other assembles the blocks.

Other Resources

Encouraging listening skills is an integral part of teaching students to follow directions. However, the way a teacher communicates with students also impacts their ability to follow directions. Check out the following lessons to learn how to emphasize listening when using these activities in your classroom and get tips for becoming a more effective communicator:

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