Listening Games for Kids
Following 1-2-3 Step Directions
Improve Auditory Processing Skills with Listening Games
Does your child have a hard time following directions?
Is your child unable to follow through with simple requests without being constantly reminded of what he was supposed to be doing or getting?
Do you have to ask or repeat yourself too much?
Does it seem like your child just can’t attend to what you are asking?
The month of October is Sensory Processing Awareness month and I am join up with Lemon Lime Adventures for Decoding Everyday Kid Behaviors. ALL children have different sensory processing needs (as do adults!) and there are simple solutions to help address those needs. Children do not have to have a clinical diagnosis to need extra sensory processing support daily. If you simply observe your child you will notice his sensory processing needs, and I bet you already have but haven’t called it sensory processing! Does your child NEED extra play ground time? Does your child just love to be covered in mud? Does he love to spin and swing? These are all ways they your child is getting the extra sensory input his body needs and craves. Some children just need a little extra help find out what works!
What is Auditory Processing?
Auditory processing has a lot to do with listening and comprehending sounds, distinguishing sounds in the environment and recalling information. Even distinguishing between different word sounds when reading can be tough! Auditory Processing is part of the central nervous center and sometimes the ears and the brain just aren’t working together to process the information they hear. Read more (here)
- Do any noises distract your child?
- Do noisy environments make your child upset or easily distracted?
- Does your child have difficulty following directions, even simple ones??
- Does your child seem forgetful and a bit disorganized?
- Does your child have a hard time following your conversation?
We have these issues and although at this time we don’t feel it is an Auditory Processing Disorder, we do need to help him work on these issues. Although Liam is diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD, I whole heartedly feel these listening games will benefit ALL children as well. Plus, games at home are fun!
Simple Listening Games For Kids
Fill The Backpack Game
Variations 1-3: Fill the backpack game with one step, two-step and three-step directions. Jot down 10 one step directions you want your child to follow. Have him grab his backpack. Call out the directions slowly and almost a bit louder (not yelling!) for your child to listen to, process and then go do! Sometimes a softer, quieter tone is harder to understand! Have him return with the item and place in backpack. Hint: Ask your child to repeat he direction back to you! Great for packing the bag for school if this seems to be a disaster everyday! The variations include increasing steps so instead of just getting a granola bar and then getting the water bottle, you combine the two for a two-step direction! Use simple concise sentences! Consider staging the directions before the game starts such as leaving one granola bar in the box and asking the child to get the granola bar, throw empty box in recycling, and get water bottle. Now you have a three-step game! You can use books, toys, stuffed animals, clothes and anything else you want your child to go and get from around the house.
Extra Variations for Listening Games
- Give out directions for your child to bring items from one room to another or to put somewhere silly, like the keys under the table! Have your child do another 1-2-3 step direction and then ask them to go get the keys to bring them back to you? Do they remember where they initially left the keys? Often being disorganized and forgetful is part of auditory processing and if everything is not always put back into the same place, it can be hard and even overwhelming to find. Give simple, clear directions without excess talk!
- You can also use gross motor activities to help get the nervous system stimulated! Call out directions for jumping, clapping, spinning or even try Simon Says. Try these in between more non-preferred directions to increase listening and attention.
- Have a conversation with your child on a specific topic that is fun for your child to talk about with you. Sit together and model asking questions back and forth about a particular event that you have all been to together. Can he recall what the event was about or what happened at the even. Often times the memory is hard to pull up when needed without a little prompting. Try to do a recall of events at dinner or snuggled up on the couch.
Hint: Have your child try to look at you (unless there are other issues with eye contact) while talking and use expressive language to catch his attention. Often high affect coming from you will keep him alert and attending to the task or conversation!
What I have touched on today, is just a small part of auditory processing. Please consult your physician for more information if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child! I am simply a mom, with a son who has sensory processing disorder, sharing her thoughts and techniques for helping out at home.