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Speech and Communication

Games to help your toddler listen

Listening isn’t the same as hearing! Get ideas for games to help your toddler learn listening skills from these tips by Furness Sure Start Children’s Centre.

These games are easy to set-up and play, and need very little equipment. Remember to give short and simple instructions so your little one knows what to do.

Musical statues

How to play

Play music on your phone, tablet or radio for your child to move or dance. When the music stops, they have to freeze!

Keep it interesting

  • Vary the length of time you play the music
  • Vary the volume (this might catch your child out!)
  • Involve other children – for instance at a party or when friends come over – so your child can see how good others are at the game.

March and sleep

How to play

Grab a noisy toy (a drum is a good one) and a quiet toy (such as a shaker). Your little one has to march like a soldier when you play the noisy toy, and lie on the floor and pretend to go to sleep when they hear the quiet one.

Keep it interesting

  • Vary the length of time you make the noises
  • Swap with your child so they can make the noises and test your skills!

What did you hear?

How to play

Gather together a few noisy things – rattles, squeaky toys, a drum, etc. Hide the toys under the blanket and make a sound with one of them. Then whip the blanket away and let your child guess which toy made the sound.

Keep it interesting

  • Increase the number of toys until you’re using five or six at a time
  • Try making sounds from several toys at once (tricky!)

Listening games can be played everywhere – at home, in the car or walking down the street. Point out the noises you can hear and talk about them together.

Want more advice or support?

You can talk via online chat to our family support workers and get advice specific to your situation and your family.

Visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk/talk

Description of what parents can talk about in the 1:1 online chat service

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