Listening games

Hands-on Learning Games: Help Your Child Be A Better Listener

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This hands-on learning game is great for improving your child's auditory processing skills. Children who have auditory processing issues need to first learn to pay attention to what they hear before they try to improve their auditory memory or sequencing skills.

This game is fun, and uses the natural medium of language to improve listening skills. Give your child a treat by making a treasure hunt where they find a small treat or toy hidden in the house, and you will add to the fun and indirectly improve their sequencing skills. You can also choose to reward your child with a small treat after every three correct answers; a chocolate chip, raisin, or other small treat is fine.

I have found that not only do kids beg me to "play" with them, but their brothers and sisters also demand a turn!

Choose a song:

Your child will listen to a song and follow along as it is sung, using pictures as an aid. The song you choose will depend on the age of your child and the severity of his auditory processing issues. For children ages 4-6 the best types of songs are traditional nursery rhymes. You can also try popular children's artists such as Raffi.

For children 6 and up,singers such as John Lithgow and Hap Palmer are good choices: the songs consist of more than one sentence, offer a refrain, are interesting, and have catchy tunes.Teenagers and adults can use folk tunes, or any other song, as long as there is some sort of story being told;one-liners don't offer any complexity.

Create a presentation:

Next, you will create pictures to go with the song. These pictures will help your child "hear" what is in the song, since they offer visual support (their strength) to an auditory activity (their weakness). You will need to make pictures of all the nouns; in later songs you can add verbs. There is no need to add the words.

Play:

The first time you play a song, help your child follow along by pointing to the words as the song is sung. This helps the child to become more familiar with the song.

After that, your child can follow along on his own. If it is too hard, you can stop the song after each pictiure. In this case you'd be using a really easy song with a slow pace and not more than 4-6 different pictures.

You can also sing along with the song, emphasizing the nouns (and verbs, if applicable), or help a younger child by gently holding their hand and pointing together.

You'd be surprised how hard this is for many children, however they will enjoy it as long as you make sure that they are at least 80% successful.

You need to work with your child at least 3 times a week for about a half hour. In the beginning it may be less, until your child gets the hang of it. You will begin to see better listening skills after about 2-3 weeks.
 
 

 
 

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9 Comments
  • Rachel Feb 5,2012 at 10:20 am

    Hi Kathy! Thanks so much for joining. You’re right, in order to be able to learn a child must be able to listen, and to do so accurately. One of the main reasons your daughter has so much trouble focusing and sitting still is because kids with PDD or language delays are visual learners.

    The visual system is much more powerful than the auditory system (think: a picture is worth a thousand words) and much more interesting for them. So they prefer to use it than their weaker auditory system.

    Focusing for these kids usually means “listen to what I’m saying,” but at this point listening is pure torture for them. They’d rather run the video in their head. Unfortunately, this leaves them unable to communicate effectively with others, since you need a strong well-functioning auditory system to do that.

    What I do is use a program that works on building great listening skills and a strong auditory memory. I’ll be putting it online in a few weeks, but in the meantime you can take a look at the hands on learning games on this site.

    Do a search on “hands on learning games” and “language development” and you’ll find plenty of stuff to work on in the meantime.

    Good luck!

  • Kathy Roman Feb 4,2012 at 5:17 am

    Listening with attention is a big issue for daughter, it is very important to listen to learn. Since I did the test on her MICRO ARRAY and she has severe apraxia and two bans od development delay, I went to a deeper researches, even thought the doctor Developmental Pediatrician said she had Autism PDD NOS also I have been working intensive speech with occupational and behavioral therapy. Focus is her bigger issue…. she likes to jump and stimming old the time with her deeper breathing. She had a improvement in speech, now the speech therapist said that she has dyspraxia because she is able to talk. She will turn 7 years old next month. She has a awesome speech therapist, TSS, BSC, teacher and aids. We do Hyperbaric Chamber home with supplements that the DAN doctor prescribed. Witch books do you think will be interesting to her? What is your advice about focus and hyperactivity?

  • […] special program I created to improve language skills. You can find examples of these games here and here – though not the full program- on this site. I started wondering if I could create a baby version of […]

  • Rachel Oct 9,2011 at 12:19 pm

    That’s such a neat idea! I’d love to hear the resources you use…that sounds like it would be great for other parents.

  • Laughwithusblog Oct 9,2011 at 3:22 am

    This is how I teach our classical grammar facts! They are songs and we use words and pictures. They love it!

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