The ability to process and learn from oral instructions and oral information is a fundamental skill required throughout life. So how can you help your child strengthen these skills? Here is a list of very easy do it at home activities that you can practice throughout the day to strengthen your child’s auditory processing.
End of the day review
Every night as you tuck your child into bed, discuss the events of the day. Have your child try to remember all the wonderful (or not so wonderful) things that happened that day. Can your child recall the events sequentially?
Play the game – what’s next?
Pick a room in your house and give your child two instructions. For example, “go into the dining room, grab a spoon and hide under the table.” Try to build up to 3 instructions over time. Then switch so that your child gets to give you instructions to follow too.
Follow my rhythm
You can clap a short pattern and have your child repeat it. Make it simple at first (one slow clap, two fast ones and then a slow one). Then slowly increase the complexity and loudness of the claps. Then ask your child to make up a pattern for you to repeat.
I went to the market and I bought…
This is a family game and can be played around the dinner table. Start with “I went to the market and I bought an apple.” The second person says, “I went to the market and I bought an apple an a banana.” The third person says, “I went to the market and I bought an apple and a banana and a bag of chips.” Etc. etc…
Listen to music and memorize the lyrics
Have your child listen to a song and learn to sing the lyrics. Give your child a song that they are unfamiliar with or one that they do not know the words to already. Replay the tune often until your child can sing the entire song.
Listen to Audio books
Audio books force a child to listen. Pick a story that your child enjoys and is excited about listening to. Don’t hesitate to choose books they have already read. Repetition builds understanding, and we all love to read or listen to our favorite books over and over again.
Play Mother May I
Have your child line up and face you (about 20 feet away). Then give your child 2 commands such as, “Take 3 steps forward and touch your nose with your right pinky finger. Or, hop forward 2 hops then do the chicken dance.” The child will ask, “Mother may I?” You answer yes or no. When your child finally gets to you – switch roles. Eventually try to get up to 3 commands.
Memorize a Poem
Have your child memorize a poem and recite it to you. Aim for memorization of at least four to eight short poems during the school year. Keep reciting the old ones and build up a repertoire. Try to pick poems that the child has read and enjoyed. This can begin with simple fun ones and then eventually increase to some rich and deep poetry too.
When you strengthen your child’s auditory processing skills, remember to make it a fun experience for both you and them. Just a few minutes a day with some of the above mentioned activities will hopefully make a big difference.
Karina Richland, M.A., developed the PRIDE Reading Program, an Orton-Gillingham program for struggling readers, based on her extensive experience working with children with learning differences over the past 30 years. She has been a teacher, educational consultant and the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers in Southern California. Please feel free to email her with any questions at email@example.com.