Monday, February 18, 2013

Teaching Listening Skills to Your Preschooler

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.

language therapy at home

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