We recently picked up a steam cleaner. Not terribly exciting, but when I was unboxing it, I noticed the kanji 左 on one of the pieces of styrofoam packing. I checked on the other two and, sure enough, found 右 and 上. This was my first instance of actually being able to use what I knew.
Yesterday I saw that 歩 was used in a common urinal sign, and found that amusing, so I had to look up images of it. These connections to the real world make it much easier to cement the images in my mind. Might it be useful to include “seen in the real world” as part of the Context Sentences in the lessons?