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Helping to develop your child’s listening and attention #2

31 July 2021

Listening Practice:

  • Praise your child for showing good listening skills (good sitting, good looking, and good thinking).
  • Play Simon Says. Give your child directions randomly with Simon Says in front of some directions and not others, e.g. “Simon Says touch your nose, Jump up and down, Simon Says touch your elbow”, etc.
    • Make it easier: Give simple directions and check that your child understands the vocabulary in the direction, e.g. “Do you know where your elbow is?” We don’t want them to get things wrong because they don’t understand the words; this is a listening exercise.
    • Make it harder: Make the directions more complex, e.g. “Touch your nose with your thumb, touch your elbow then your shoulder”. When your child has got the hang of the game, give them a turn at giving the directions.
  • Choose familiar songs or rhymes to share with your child, e.g. “Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall” and sing this a few times with your child. Build up to the point where you start a line and they fill in the words. After the song, ask questions, e.g. “Who was the song about? What was he doing? Where was Humpty Dumpty? What do you think about that?”
    • Make it easier: Use really simple, well-known rhymes. If your child is unsure how to answer a question, say the whole line again and see if they can pick out the right answer or give them a choice “Was he at the supermarket or on a wall?” so that your child has a better chance of getting the right answer.
    • Make it harder: Ask which words rhymed or other more complex questions. The more complicated the rhyme or song, the wider range of questions you can ask.
  • Practise listening for words in a simple story and carrying out an action every time they hear their name (e.g. your child claps every time you say their name). A simple made-up story about them or yourself is usually best. It can be something exciting that happened to you, a story about a holiday or a made-up story.
    • Make it easier: Look at your student when they need to do their action e.g. clap.
    • Make it harder: Tell a story your child is familiar with e.g ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. Tell your child to listen out for different things in the story, e.g. “Every time you hear the word ‘bear’ stand up”.