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Stage 1 - Listening Games

Helping your child to develop their listening skills in relation to instruments, music and everyday noises will help them to become more aware of the subtle differences between speech sounds later on.

It can help your child if they have lots of opportunities to experience listening to sounds. This will also help to build both their attention and listening skills. These are the foundations of developing speech and language skills.

  • Choose two sets of matching noisemakers/ instruments. These may include shakers, bells or drums made of saucepans and wooden spoons. You could fill empty plastic bottles or pots with various materials such as sand, pebbles, water, coins and so on.

    Let your child play with the instruments and listen to the sounds they make.

    Describe the sounds. Are they loud or quiet?

    Hide one set of instruments behind a screen, and put a matching set in front of your child.

    Play one of the instruments behind the screen, then lift the screen and see if your child can show you which one you played. Gradually increase the number of instruments to choose from. See if your child can remember a sequence of 2 or 3 sounds.

  • Hide a music box or musical toy somewhere in the room while your child waits outside the

    When your child comes back in, ask him/her to listen for the sound and find the toy.

  • Play games that encourage good waiting, turn-taking and listening. These could include the following:

    • Playing ‘ready steady go’ with wind up cars, marble runs or pop up toys.
    • Copying beats on a drum.
    • Matching sounds to pictures (e.g. animal noises). Sound lotto sets and apps are commercially available.
    • Playing musical statues, musical islands/chairs etc.
    • Listening to environmental sounds (e.g. washing machine, hoover, and car). Can your child identify what the sound is?

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Norfolk & Waveney Speech & Language Therapy Service by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


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