Question Detail

Listening activities for 5 year olds?

Jan 18, 2013 10:02am

My child is having difficulties following directions and listening to the teacher in class. What activities can I practice at home to improve this skill?

  • Arts / English Language Arts / Math
  • Pre K-2
  • Behavior


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    • Jan 25, 2013 12:58am

      Have you thought about games like "Simon Says" or "I Spy?" Also games that ask children to repeat what they hear (e.g., a clapping pattern) or to respond with rhyming words (e.g., you say "cat," s/he says "hat"). Games often provide a fun and productive way to work on listening and concentration skills.

      • Apr 17, 2013 10:47am

        I'm a fan of using callbacks in the classroom. When I give directions, I pause and ask students to repeat what I just said. An example of this to use at home would be to tell your child, "We're going to have spaghetti for dinner. What are we having?" Your child responds, "Spaghetti!" or "We're going to the library after school today. Where are we going after school today?" "The library!" This gives your child a reason to listen and it won't be long before this is second nature to you both. You can even have your child make a statement and ask you a question; young kids are often unaware of what a question IS and how to ask one, so you can meet a few needs with this technique. Good luck and Bravo to You (!) for supporting your child's teacher's efforts!!

        • Jan 19, 2013 5:37am

          I bought a book on Amazon called Who's Listening for my classroom. It's a listen and do with coloring etc. That may help.

          • Feb 19, 2013 1:06pm

            Communication between parent and teacher is key in this instance too. What type of management systems is your teacher using in school?

            A great one that can translate both between home and school is a sticker system. When your child completes an activity where they need to follow directions that you or the teacher is giving, they receive a sticker. I've used blank cards at school and when the child reaches 10, they get to visit a small treasure box. This box can be filled with simple things such as prizes from the dollar store or even coupons where they can do things like "Bake Cookies with Mommy."

            You can even make a chart with the picture of the activity for the child, like when they brush their teeth, or put their lunch in their backpack before school. Simple tasks they can complete. As they get better and better, make the amount of stickers more each time. You can increase by 5 or 10, and eventually you can ween them off the system.

            • Apr 14, 2013 10:48am

              In my music classes, we do songs like "Wiggleworm/Statue" or "The Freeze" where they wiggle until the music stops, then immediately make a "statue" until it starts again. You could play this at home. It is more fun with other kids, so you might do it when playmates are visiting. I have songs for it, but you can do it with any music and a pause button. Look on YouTube for other direction-following songs like "Open, Shut Them" by Super Simple Songs.

              Some students can learn while in constant motion, but most need to learn to be still to focus. I teach them that part of being quiet is being still.

              • Apr 16, 2013 6:36pm

                Diane- I teach 7th grade, but I loved your ideas. I'm going to start using those techniques at home with my little ones!

                • Apr 17, 2013 10:48am

                  I also like using a "word of the day." Tell your child the word today is 'applesauce,' for instance. Then, tell your child that when you say the word of the day, they're to follow some direction (...feed the dog, brush teeth, pick up all the socks in the living room). Wait for a few seconds to build anticipation and then whisper "applesauce." This turns just about any activity or chore into a game and it encourages your child to listen, again giving them a reason to do so.