Listening doesn't come naturally to Dimples. It really is something we need to work on.
I guess there is so much going on and so many things to do that stopping to listen to boring ol' mum just isn't a priority of his and with a stubborn streak, parenting this strong willed little man can sometimes feel like a challenge.
By being proactive in the way we speak to Dimples, getting on his level, touching his arm to get his attention and eye contact first and by praising the times he does listen we are aiming to improve this. Another way we have been trying to address it is through listening games. Childhood 101 has 5 listening games that we have been playing lately and this new one I came up with, Eggy Sounds.
All you need is a plastic egg, we used an old pavlova shell and some small objects made from different materials, different shapes and sizes and weights. Depending on your childs skill level you can add more or less varying the complexity of the objects used.
First I laid them all out on a tray so Dimples could see what was there. I then put the tray up high and asked him what sounds he thought they would make. Starting with the obvious, what sound would the bells make?
This part of the game gives a heads up as to what sounds they should be listening for and acts as a memory match, meaning they have to recall what objects were on the tray that could match the sound and rule out the objects they've already guessed correctly.
I placed an object or group of objects into the egg and asked Dimples what sound is it? He shook it and moved it about listening carefully, some things such as the bell and the pebbles he guessed straight away, then others were a little bit trickier. This is where the critical thinking came into play, I asked him questions to encourage him to think outside the egg!
What type of material does it sound like? does it sound as if there are one or more things inside? is it heavy?
Then if he couldnt guess it I asked him to listen carefully, shake it slow, then fast, then rotate it, after he did that he was allowed to ask me questions. Is it one thing? Is it plastic? I would then ask him to think about what else was on the tray that might make the same sound as ____ or what else was the same material.
This encourages problem solving by elimination and critical thinking as well as drawing on scientific concepts to solve the problem, all the while listening carefully.
Memory - visual recall
Critical thinking & problem solving
Questioning & elimination
Scientific concepts - materials, gravity, how things move, weight and sound
Linking auditory and visuals to enhance focus
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