Tuesday 22nd September
Good afternoon everyone,
I think today maybe the last really warm day of summer, however let’s hope that there may be a little more sunshine to come before the nights draw in and the temperature drops.
Today in nursery children there were so many interesting things happening. In red class the two year olds were busy learning how to mix their own paint and in the garden and the other classes children were practicing their listening skills. In a quiet bit of the garden children listened carefully for the different sounds they could hear. They heard birds, planes, cars, bikes, and people walking past and of course other children playing.
Indoors children enjoyed an exciting game of animal sound lotto, they listened carefully to animal sounds and then identified which animal was making the sound.
Why is developing good listening skills so important?
Listening is a crucial skill for young children to acquire, how many times a day do you ask your child to “listen please”. It’s certainly something we say many times in nursery.
Listening is one of the basic building blocks of language and communication and, particularly in early years education, it is one of the main vehicles for a child’s learning. Up to 80 per cent of learning in the early years is verbal and this is why, as teachers, we are so concerned to see children with poor listening skills.
Poorly developed listening skills may also have an impact on a child's language and communication development. Listening to other people speaking enables children to develop vocabulary, comprehension and language skills. These important communication skills are the building bricks of literacy and learning.
You can help your child to develop good listening skills in many ways, one of the most effective ways to teach children to be good listeners, is through daily interactions. As parents and educators, it’s essential that we demonstrate appropriate listening behavior. This can include making eye contact, giving the speaker our full attention, and using respectful body language. It’s amazing how quickly young children will pick up on these actions, and imitate them.
You can also help your child to develop good listening skills by going for a listening walk in the local area, and playing games such as “name that sound” (the child closes their eyes and guesses the different sounds such as clapping, whistling, knocking, ringing a bell etc. that you make).
“Copy me” is another fun game, (tap or clap a rhythm and ask your child to clap it back).
Musical bumps or musical statues is another fun way to develop listening skills, (play music and your child has to freeze or stop when the music stops).
There are of course many commercial sound lotto games available, however, it’s just as much fun to invent your own.
And of course you can never listen to too many stories!
Have a lovely evening and enjoy listening to each other.