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Year 1 Position And Direction: Fun And Engaging Activities For Your Classroom

Need some fun yet engaging activities for your year 1 class? Don't worry, we have got you covered! Read on for some excellent year 1 position and direction activities that are guaranteed to get your pupils excited about this topic!

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Year 1 Position And Direction


This topic allows students to become familiar with the mathematical vocabulary related to year 1 position and direction, whilst also considering how to make quarter turns, half turns and full turns. 

The national curriculum states that students should be taught this language and a non-statutory requirement is the use of : left and right, top, middle and bottom, on top of, in front of, above, between, around, near, close and far, up and down, forwards and backwards, inside and outside. 

This blog explores some fantastic activities that will engage your pupils in their learning of Year 1 position and direction.

Sing Along

Songs can be a really fun way to get your younger students engaging with important content! This is an enjoyable task for students as it doesn’t feel like a task at all! This song explores important language that students should be using in Year 1 position and direction.

Simon Says ...

This is a very well known game, especially amongst the younger students. Why not add a fun twist and base the game around Year 1 position and direction?

For example ‘Simon says slide to the right’ or ‘Simon says do a three-quarter turn’.

As you can see, your students would still be playing the game, whilst also testing their knowledge of the topic!

Students love this classic game as it is a chance to have some competitive fun with their classmates and incorporate some effective learning.

Year 1 Position and Direction - Simon Says

Head Outside

Why not take teaching Year 1 position and direction as an opportunity to have your students play outside?

Get your students out on the playground and play some super fun position and direction games. 

Giant Battleships is a great game for students to practise their position and direction language. Get students to work in pairs to draw up a battleship grid and then act it out on the yard (a grid drawn up in chalk will do just fine!) One of the students will direct the other around the grid using position and direction language!

Pupils will jump at the opportunity to play some games on the playground during lesson time! Use this to your advantage and engage your students in this fun educational activity!

Forwards, Backwards, Left, Right

This is a simple but fun activity when teaching Year 1 position and direction!

Print out a grid with different space themed images dotted in, such as aliens and planets. The goal of the activity is to reach Earth! Have the directions to Earth written on the whiteboard or on a power point (forwards, backwards, left or right!)

Students will be given a starting point and will need to follow the correct directions on the board to get to Earth.

Have your pupils colour in each square as they move along so that you can fully see their level of understanding!

This activity familiarises your pupils with important Year 1 position and direction language that they are required to learn. 

Classroom Mazes

thor emile flying viking spelling

Classroom mazes are a great activity for teaching Year 1 position and direction. Get your students paired up and have them guide each other through the maze!

One student will be blindfolded and the other will be telling the student which way they need to go in order to get to the end of the maze.

This activity is great for increasing their understanding of Year 1 position and direction language, whilst also having some fun!


Draw A Map

Why not have your students complete some map work?

Ask your students to work together to draw a map. In order to do this, they must be able to explain to the class where each building is located on the map e.g., the park is in front of the school.

This is another really great way of getting your students used to using this key position and direction vocabulary.

Here are some great blank town map ideas!


Emile is an amazing online game-based learning resource! Your pupils will LOVE Emile and will be itching to learn about Year 1 position and direction. 

Using the assess, practise and achieve model, your students are ensured to make progress with Emile!

Over 4000 UK schools love having Emile in their classrooms. It is an excellent resource that students really do enjoy playing!

Why not find out more by requesting a demo?


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