Monday, July 16, 2012

Games for Listening Skills

Games are a great way to learn and reinforce any skill. Use creative games and activities to teach children good listening skills. Here are a few games you and your child can play together.

Listening and Comprehension
Ask your child to complete straightforward tasks and provide basic directions. "Susan, please go to the pantry, get a can of tomato soup and give it to your brother." "Jacob, ask Linda if she has the glue; if she has the glue, ask her to give it to you." It may be necessary to repeat requests to ensure that your child is focused. These simple activities can teach children to listen, comprehend, respond, and react.

Word Clap
Sit with your child on the floor and read them a story that repeats a particular word many times. Instruct your child to clap every time they hear that particular word.

Draw a Picture
Explain to your child that they are to draw a picture according to your verbal instructions. For example, to draw a picture of a cat, you can begin by telling your child to draw a figure eight with two triangles at the top. Continue to give verbal instructions on how to draw the cat.

Actions and Sounds
Prepare an audio track that plays a variety of different sounds such as a car horn, a whistle, and a bell chime. Explain to your child that each sound is associated with an action. For example, when your child hears car horn he should jump. Decide on the actions before the game starts. Play the audio track and watch to see if your child performs the necessary actions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Listening Skills

Research says that good listeners usually have above average self-respect and very positive self-images. Teaching children good listening skills at an early age can help them to be effective listeners as adults. Kids up to the ages of 11 and 12 need constant reinforcement in order for listening skills to become second nature.

Here are a few listening skills you and your child can work on together.

~Eye Contact-eye contact lets the speaker know you are paying attention to what he is saying.

~Body Language-teach your child to avoid awkward body gestures that show he is bored or anxious--rolling his eyes, crossed arms, fidgeting…

~Gestures-Teach your child when to nod his head or make affirmative statements without interrupting the speaker.

~Focus-Train your child to focus on what the speaker is saying rather than planning his next answer.

~Paraphrase-Explain to your child how to paraphrase the main idea of what the speaker has said in order to show understanding and to be able to clarify any questions he might have.