How do we learn left vs right? The process has been linked to the concept of laterality, which is an internal self-awareness of the left and right sides of the body. Laterality is also linked to an awareness of a body midline, which is an invisible line that divides our body in half. We first teach children the concept of left and right using their own body such as right and left hand/foot before moving onto objects such as shoes or mittens.
I try to use as many different scenarios illustrating right vs left, as well as teaching prepositions such as above, under, on and so forth. A box with an object that can be placed inside is a perfect illustration as you can also teach in and out.
Around three years old, children normally develop hand dominance. Julia is "lefty" and Adrian is "righty". The trick that have worked with Adrian is "You write with your right hand." - "Raise the hand you write with – this is your right hand. The other hand is left." Since Adrian turned three, we have been doing a lot of right vs. left activities, and now at three-an-a-half, he is very confident of concept right vs left, as well as prepositions.
Adrian really liked a little doll and an arm-chair since he can role-play and the doll is relatable. We are also using this activity with a basket and a styrofoam ball to learn prepositions, words that describe the relationships between objects such as under, behind, above, on, etc. Learning words that have different functions is a key to understanding language. You can use picture cards that show the location of a ball in relation to a basket: in, on, above, behind, in front, beside, under.
We also use a lot of prompts, such as Raise you right hand, Tap you head with your left hand, Touch your right cheek with your left hand and so forth.
How do you teach your children prepositions and the concept right vs. left?