Early childhood education teachers have observed six main skill sets that are common in children who successfully transition from preschool to kindergarten. The first of these skills is the ability to be a good listener. Good listening skills are vital, and children who have developed this skill are more apt to follow directions, interact respectfully with adults and peers, and contribute to a positive learning environment. The good news is that listening is a skill that can be developed over time. Here are some activities to do at home:
- Play games such as “Simon Says,” “Red Light, Green Light,” and “I Spy” to help your child focus on listening and responding appropriately.
- Interactive reading will encourage critical thinking and gauge how much information your child is retaining. While reading aloud, pause and ask questions such as “What do you think will happen next?” or “Do you think that was a good idea?”
- Sit quietly outside with your child to identify sounds. This is a great way to teach children to be still and concentrate in order to listen properly.
Another key to creating a good listener is by setting a positive example. Demonstrating active listening while your child talks will model what their response should be when adults or peers are speaking. Using proper eye contact, body language, and voice tone while conversing will help your child understand how to engage properly in a social setting.
Incorporating games that encourage children to react with words or actions will help them develop a sense of what it means to be an active listener and encourage appropriate behavior in the classroom.