Active listening is a crucial skill for learning and enjoyment. Research shows that giving children opportunities to talk and listen helps them to gain the language skills necessary for success in reading and writing, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
One of the best ways to develop active listening abilities in children is to talk to them regularly, from a young age. Narrate everyday activities and household chores to get children used to listening and paying attention. Several fun games can further develop active listening skills in children.
Reading Guessing Game
Read aloud to your child regularly and ask him to predict how a story will end, based on what he has already heard. This will check how well he's listened to the story so far. If he hasn't paid enough attention, start the story again and repeat the guessing game exercise.
Favourite Books Game
Revisit favourite books regularly and read them aloud each time. Pause at key points in the story and let your child speak the words that should come next. Also occasionally change story details to see if your child corrects you. This will test your child's active listening and attention skills.
Listen to audio books or attend read-aloud sessions at a community centre or library. Enjoying a new story together and discussing the details helps to promote active listening skills.
Listen Carefully Game
Ask your child to close his eyes and rest his head on the table or chair arm. Tell him to listen very carefully to any noises he can hear. This might include a dripping tap, the drone of a distant aeroplane or the sound of traffic. Ask your child to describe all the sounds he can hear.