Let’s make a fun grid game for kids to practice following directions playfully! A map game can help your child learn the important life skills of map reading and how following directions can lead to a destination. This fun grid activity combines following directions with map skills activities. Oh, and this following directions activity will get kids moving too! Make a grid game at home or in the classroom.
Make a Map Game On the Floor!
The goal of this map game is for kids to work through the floor grid by following the directions given. The grid game will have kids practicing counting and using the words left, right, forward, and backward. You could also modify to include North, South, East and West as well.
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Supplies Needed for Following Directions Game
*You will want to use a tape that can be removed without leaving residue. If unsure, test a small corner first. The longer you leave the tape on the floor, the harder it is to remove.
How to Make This Following Directions Activity
Step 1 – Create a Grid on the Floor
Create a numbered grid on your floor. I used a 6×6 grid because that’s what fit well in our room. This is how I created this grid game:
- I used my feet to mark off the grid.
- I taped the end of the yarn to the floor.
- Then, I placed the heel of one foot in front of the toes of the other foot as I walked 6 steps across the room.
- I tape down the yarn, turned and marked off another 6 steps.
- I continued until I had a square.
- I went back around the square and placed tape on top of the yarn after every step.
- Then I strung pieces of yarn from one side of the square to the other using the tape as a guide.
Step 2 – Play the Game
How to Play this Following Directions Activity
Have your child start at square one and walk through the grid following your directions. Have her face the same directions as the numbers if you use the directions I wrote. Stepping to the left or right would require a side step.
- Take 3 steps forward.
- Take 1 step to the left.
- Take 2 steps backward and 2 steps to the left.
- Take 1 step forward and 2 steps to the right.
Printable Guide to Making a Following the Directions Grid Game
Download & Print: Directions for the Following Directions Grid Game
Print out the game instruction pdf files and you can read off the directions. They will take you from square 1 to square 31.
Our Experience With Games About Following Directions
My 3 year old thought this game was a ton of fun. He called it a maze because you had to follow a certain path to get out of the grid. Once he completed it, he started all over and asked for new directions.
We also worked on numbers during the game. I would ask him to count how many steps it would take to get from number __ to number __. Sometimes he would take a roundabout path. He thought that was more fun!
Problems Encountered for Younger Kids
- My son did have a slight problem with facing the same direction the whole time while following directions. To go left, he would turn left!
- To fix this I simply changed my directions to fit the way he was facing. For older kids, you could create a front and back indicated by more sticky notes.
- My son also encountered issues sometimes with interpreting the word “backward” at first. He was able to step forward, right and left, but backward was challenging. We worked together until he could tackle that concept with ease.
More Ways to Use this Map Game for Map Skills Activities
- If your children are readers, have them take turns reading and following directions. Have them write directions for themselves.
- Take the game outside by creating a grid with cones.
- Practice following directions by using grids drawn on paper.
- Instead of using numbers on the floor, use N, S, E & W labeled on each side of the grid.
Related: More following directions ideas from Our Pastimes
- Yarn or thick string
- Sticky notes
- Masking tape or painters tape*
- (Optional) tape measure
- Lay the string on the floor to make a grid - our grid was 6 x 6 using a foot as a guide for sizing.
- Once you have the string arranged as desired, then tape down the ends to secure it in place.
- With a marker, number the sticky notes and attach one starting in the starting square with #1.
More Kids Activities & Following Direction Fun
- Map Game: X Marks the Spot
- Make a Compass Rose for kids – more Map Skills Activities
- Download & print our blank US map
- Interactive dinosaur map & interactive bird map
- Make a treasure hunt with your floor plan with this map game
- Map reading for kids has never been this fun!
- Kindergarten readiness checklist
What a fun map game for kids! How do you teach following directions to your kids? Are there other map skills activities that they enjoy?