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Simple Activities to Improve Your Child's Listening Skills

Good listening skills are essential for school success. If your child’s listening skills could use sharpening try these three easy, quick, and fun activities. These games can be played in a 10-20 minute period of time and will help your young child become a better listener!

  • Have your child close their eyes. Start by saying, “Listen carefully.” Make a noise using a familiar household sound. For example, run the vacuum, ring the doorbell, turn on some music, fill a pan with water, etc. Have your child identify the sound. If he or she can’t identify the sound give them a hint. For example, “This is what you hear when I’m getting ready to cook spaghetti.”
  • Play a “directions” game. Again say, “Listen carefully.” Start with a two-step direction, such as, “Hop to the refrigerator then skip back to the chair.” Or if you are outside you might try, “Jump to the tree then hop over to the swing.”
    When your child can do a “two-step” direction with ease, increase the difficulty by adding another step. For example, “Run to the tree, hop to the swing, then come back and give me a hug.”
  • Read a favorite rhyme or story, and substitute an incorrect word. Start by saying "Listen carefully." “The three little kittens, they lost their scarf…?” and let your child say the correct word. Or, pretend to forget a word and let your child say it for you. “Once upon a…I forgot what the next word is. Can you say it?”

By starting each listening game with the words, “Listen carefully” your child will soon identify this as a signal requiring his or her full attention. As you can imagine this can apply and be helpful in other situations, such as when you are at the mall and you say “Listen carefully, stay by my side.”

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#3 Latrice 2015-04-18 21:21
My son is the same way and he is now at the end of his kindergarden year. He was just turning 5 when he entered school and was very shy and nervous. Finally, he has begun to have more confidence and his listening skills have improved. Fortunately, the school offered what is called interventions which allow for some kids to work on various skills one on one as they progress they begin to get better at working on things in groups.
#2 Mari Larrea 2012-03-10 18:57
Hello, my boy, Nico, is a well-behaved 5 yrs old, and does well at math and verbal work. He focuses during projects and assignments. The problem is that when he is in a group, sometimes he doesn't listen to instructions. The teacher will ask everyone to turn around and Nico just stays facing the other way until she repeats it to him. English is his second language, but he's pretty fluent. Also, his teacher says that even if he doesn't understand, he should follow the visual cues and turn around. Also, when I'm teaching him something, he's impatient and does not want to wait for the full instructions and wants to start doing the chore immediately. I have to make him look at me, so that he listens to the instructions. He is very social, good with sports and as I said, he is good at math and letters (he is starting to add, writes the numbers and letters very well and is now writing 3 letter words and he's not yet in kinder, he's in pk 4). The only problem is his inability to pay attention to instructions and visual cues. What can I do? Thanks, Mari
#1 Carie 2010-03-12 01:42
What a great bunch of exercises! I have a daycare and three children of my own...I am definately trying these! Thank you!

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