Teaching Children Good Listening Skills
Hearing a story, directions, a list and then being able to repeat it back can be challenging. For people with auditory processing deficits, it can be extremely difficult. We like to sneak in skill building while the children think they’re just having fun or passing time while they are waiting. This game is an easy way you can be teaching children good listening skills.
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When my daughter was younger she disliked driving around in the car so I would help her pass the time by telling stories. As I was telling the story, I would ask her questions about the story. Later, I became trained in the LindaMood-Bell Visualizing and Verbalizing program for reading comprehension. I soon realized that the stories in the workbooks could be told orally to work on auditory processing skills and for teaching children good listening skills. This is an easy activity to do in the car. Your child’s answers will tell you whether they are able to process what you are saying accurately. Both child and adult will have fun telling and listening to stories.
Target Skills for teaching children good listening skills:
- Auditory Processing
- Following Directions
Instructions for Tell Me What I Said Listening Game:
- Start by saying one sentence. Use descriptive words. “The brown horse ran joyfully through a field full of flowers.”
- Then ask questions like “What color was the horse?” Move on to questions that require inference. In this example, that may be “Why was the horse joyful?”
- Dealing with errors: The response the child gives will tell you a lot about their auditory processing. If they make obvious mistakes, like telling you the horse was pink, then make the sentences and questions even simpler. Keep in mind that the last thing that you said would be easiest to remember. You could say, “The brown horse ran.” “What did the horse do?”
- Tell a short story. Start with 4 sentences. Then ask a question.
- Example: The red dog chased the fuzzy cat. The cat hissed and the dog barked. The fuzzy cat ran up a tree. The red dog circled the tree and whined.
- Ask questions like: “What color was the dog?” You may be surprised by how many kids will answer “brown”.
- For Higher Order Thinking ask inference questions like “Why was the dog whining after the cat ran up the tree?”
Extending the Activity:
- To add difficulty put one inconsistency in the story and ask the child to tell you what it is:
- The red dog chased the fuzzy cat. The cat hissed and the brown dog barked. The cat ran up a tree. The dog circled the tree and whined.
- You can also add difficulty by making the story longer and asking about something from the first or second sentence.
More Listening Games and Activities for you:
- Play Red Light Green Light with a twist. Kids Activity Blog made this game a lot more fun for the kids.
- Inspiration Laboratories created a fun listening game for you: Outdoor Sound Hunt Inspired by Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
- The Rain Game from Moments a Day combines movement with following directions and it’s a great group listening activity – it requires little or no materials and would be suitable for more than a couple kids.
- Do Three Things Listening Game. This quick play idea is great for working on listening skills and practicing following multi-step directions.