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- Communication and Language Challenges
- Listening Skills
School involves a lot of listening. Practising good listening skills before your child starts school will help them get off to a good start.
Encourage listening skills by being a good listener yourself. Give your child plenty of opportunity to talk to you. Talk about their play or their day and ask for their views.
On the same level
When you are talking to your child – make eye contact. Get down to their level whenever possible.
Minimise distractions by turning off TVs and stereos and ignoring phones and computers, especially during meals, stories, baths and bedtime.
When you finish reading a book or watching a TV programme together, ask your child if they can recall the storyline.
What happened next?
Make up a joint story, where you say one sentence, your child gives the next, and you keep alternating.
Play games such as ‘I Spy’ or ‘I Went to the Shops and I Bought...’ to boost memory as well as listening skills.
What can you hear?
Ask your child to close their eyes for one minute and list everything they can hear: a clock ticking, cars, or a bird?
Get nursery rhymes deliberately wrong – “Humpty Dumpty sat on the sofa” or “Jack and Jill went up the escalator” Children love to spot the mistake and put it right.
Sometimes your child may seem not to hear you – probably because they’re completely absorbed in what they’re doing, and they don’t want it to end. If this often happens with your child, call them by name and give them a five-minute countdown to playtime ending. If they get angry or frustrated, discuss their feelings with them. It’s all good practice for having to stick to an adult-led routine at school.