Improving Listening Skills in Children

Improving Listening Skills in Children

Children often struggle with listening skills, missing key pieces of information in the communication process. Helping your child improve his listening skills at an early age benefits him in school and in his social relationships. Listening is also good for their safety. For example, When you’re out in a crowded place and want to warn your child about not leaving your hand. Listening is also vital for speech development and makes it easier for children to imitate after hearing the prompts.


Let us understand these three major processes:

Hearing – We need to remember that hearing doesn’t mean listening, it’s just a physical act of receiving sound stimulation and sending it to the brain for reception.

Listening – Is tuning into a sound, recognizing its importance and interpreting the information in the brain.

Attention – Children may be able to hear and listen to sounds and voices, but they also need to be able to do this for a sustained period of time.

  1. Use gestures and expressions.

Toddlers understand a reasonable amount of language, but using gestures and facial expressions can clarify your message and improve understanding. Your child will understand better if you furrow your brow or shake your head than if you list instructions. Similarly, you can also try to use happy expressions and nodding if you want to reinforce something your toddler is doing well.


  1. Sing your words.

Music is a powerful tool to use when your toddler doesn’t listen. It can improve a child’s mood, catch their attention, and improve listening. You could also try singing to make the words more fun and enjoyable. Children often feel like following a set of instructions that are sung to them is an exciting game or activity.

  1. Make eye contact.

This is an overwhelmingly popular parenting tip because it is very effective when toddlers don’t listen. In a variety of situations, eye contact is huge! After getting down to your child’s level, say his or her name again and wait until your eyes meet. At that very moment, you’ll know he or she is paying attention and focusing on what you are saying.

  1. Call your child by name.

Using nicknames and terms of endearment is commonplace when interacting with small kids. Using your child’s real name helps get his attention specifically, and it lets them know you are about to share important information.

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  1. Audio stories

Listen to the stories together with your child or as a family. Discussion or questions can further enhance learning and listening. You can use questions like:

What did you think about…?

What was your favorite part?

Do you think that…will…?

Who is your favorite character so far?

You can also use Audio worksheets that you can find on the web.

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  1. Identifying Sounds

Going on a listening walk and identify sounds in nature with the family can be a fun activity that promotes listening skills. For example, identifying ‘moo’ of a cow, the chirping of birds, crickets or listening to the waves on the beach.


  1. Cook or Bake with your Child

Cooking or Baking with your child and reading out the recipe is another fun way to get kids listening. You can also put the audio recipe on speakers and listen to it while baking or cooking.

Thank you for reading this article. We would love to get some feedback from you. Please leave your comments below.


Sayee Deshpande
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