Listen up! Getting Your Child to Pay Attention

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Teaching a child how to listen can be difficult at times.  Parents can never tell if their child is either too occupied or choosing not to pay attention.  Regardless, learning how to listen will be benefit children in the long run.  People can learn by listening.  In a conversation, sometimes actively listening is more productive than actively speaking.
But listening isn’t just narrowed down to children listening to their parents.  Listening is also a way of identifying.  The sense of sound is very important.  Without hearing, life would be difficult.
Teaching a child how to listen from a young age is very effective.  The following activities will benefit a child in the long run.

Slow and fast

This game activity is all about rhythm.  Select a CD to play and have your child listen to various tempos of music.  Every time a fast song is played, ask your child to dance as fast as he or she possibly can.  Then play a slower song and ask your child to lessen the pace.  Play a few songs of varying rhythms and see if your child can pick up on the various speeds.

Going to bed and waking up

This activity is a way to train kids about rising and falling.  Grab your child’s favorite blanket and have him or her pretend that it’s time to sleep.  Tell them “goodnight” and let them pretend that they are sleeping.  They can even incorporate snoring if they want!
Then after a few minutes or so, say, “good morning!” and see how quickly they get up.  Do this a few times until your child picks up on it.  This works as great training for them to get used to for when it’s real.

Clapping the rhythm

This is a great activity that tests the attention of children.  Ask your child to stand facing you.  With your hands, clap a certain rhythm and then stop.  Ask your child to repeat what you just did.  See if he or she can duplicate your rhythm.  It is up to you to determine the length and difficulty of each rhythm.

Animal imitations

Although this may make you feel silly, it will get kids familiar with the various sounds of animals.  From making moo sounds to barking and meowing, your child will definitely find this activity fun and silly at the same time.

Reading a short story

Children love story time.  Select a short, but simple story and read it to your child.  After you have finished reading it, ask your child specific questions about the story.  See how much the child paid attention.  After your child has answered basic questions, ask him or her to try telling you a story as well.

The number game

Call out a series of random numbers.  After you have called them out once, repeat a second time for clarification.   After that is done, ask your child to try and repeat the numbers that you have just said.