Help Your Child Talk: Two Toddler Listening Games

Here's extract number 11 from How To Help Your Child Talk and Grow Smarter: your chance to learn more about the way your child learns to talk.

Last week, I introduced some games to play with your toddler, and there's a useful comment on the post from a friend, (thanks, HunterValleyYabby2,) saying that there are free resources for sound lotto on line, as well as commercial ones - just google 'sound lotto'.

Here are some more games for you to try with your toddler, and a short checklist of ways to improve his listening skills.

If you're a new reader, CLICK HERE to read How To Help Your Child Talk and Grow Smarter from the very beginning.This link takes you to the first post, so you can read the extracts in sequence. At the end of each week's post you'll see a link to take you on to the next extract. I try to post every Friday, by noon GMT.

Listening: toddler activities: sound chart
It's easy to make this yourself.

Divide a large sheet of paper into seven sections, one for each day of the week. Keep a selection of sticky stars.

Every day, choose one sound. It could be a dog barking, an aeroplane or someone coughing. Select something that you and your child will hear several times.

Cut out a picture of the sound, stick it on the paper and listen out together with your child. Every time he hears the sound, he sticks on a star.

As he gets older, use a different word for every day, or a different speech sound.

Listening: toddler activities: storytelling
Prepare to read a story aloud. Tell your child to listen out for a certain word. When he hears it, he can do an agreed action. For example, every time he hears the work “up” he jumps in the air.

Make sure he sits down again each time and prepares to listen again.

Listening: checklist for toddlers

  • Keep to a routine, with quiet times for stories, games and puzzles.
  • Include times for noisy play and letting off steam.
  • Tidy his toys occasionally so he attends to one thing at a time.
  • Smile when your child talks to you.
  • Turn off the TV and radio for a time every day while you play.
  • Make a quiet corner with somewhere to sit and draw, colour or look at books.
Come back next week for another extract. A link will appear HERE.

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I write this Communication Blog

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Frances Evesham: on the run around Europe for years, with only a husband, three children and a succession of opinionated cats to keep me out of trouble. Somerset stopped me in my tracks. Now I walk in the country and breathe sea air. I will get around to cleaning the house soon.

I've been a speech therapist, a professional communication fiend and a road sweeper. I sometimes work in the criminal courts to uphold fair questioning of people with special needs.

I smell the roses, lavender and rosemary as I cook with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other. Writing historical romances and books on communication leaves enough time to enjoy bad jokes and puns and wish I’d kept on with the piano lessons.