Listening skills, including auditory discrimination and the ability to focus, are important prerequisites for language comprehension and production. Here are some fun activities to practice with your child:
· Play this "listening game." Ask your child to clap whenever he hears a specific sound, such as /m/. Then make sounds and see if he can differentiate them. ( /m/ /k/ /m/ /m/ /p/ /t/ /m/ /s/ /m/ /w/ /t/ /m/)
· Try the same activity with words that begin with a specific sound. Here is a possible list for /s/. some, same, ball, cat, sky, sing, ditch, sorry, pat, sat, soon, pick, tall, sun
· Say a word. Ask the child to name another word that begins with the same sound.
· Collect objects that make a sound (bell, crumpling paper, spoon, a can holding dry rice or beans, keys, or coins) and lay them on a table. Let your child look at them, then close his eyes. Use one of the objects to make a sound and have him try to guess the correct object.
· Teach your child to tap the syllables of words or phrases with a stick.
· Tap a rhythm with a stick or spoon and ask your child to imitate the rhythm.
· Blindfold your child. Move to a different place in the room and hum or make another sound. Have him point to where the sound is coming from.
· Call your child's attention to sounds outside, such as birds, cars, or honking horns.
· Play or hum 2 musical notes. Ask your child to identify which note is high or which note is low. Sing or play songs and have your child identify them as "fast" or "slow."
· Ask your child to repeat simple sentences. Start with very short ones and progress to longer sentences as your child is able.
· Recite a nursery rhyme to your child several times. Then leave off the last word in each phrase and have your child fill in the missing word. (memory and rhyming skills)
· See if your child can complete each phrase with a rhyming word:
- See the bug --hide in a ________.
- Sam, Sam, --do you like ________?
- The little boy --wants a ________.
- See the frog --up on the ________.
- Look at Stan --driving his ________.
- I saw a bee-- drinking some ________.
- My brother, Jim --went for a ________.
- My Uncle Bob --eats corn on a ________.
- Playing in the sun-- is lots of ________.
- Be careful! That pot --is very________.
- Billy sat --on his ________.
This post is an excerpt from my book, Language Lessons: From Listening Skills to Comprehension.