What is attention and listening?
Attention and listening is being able to listen and focus on specific tasks or sounds.
It can be a tricky skill for all children to learn.
Why are attention and listening important?
Good attention and listening skills help with:
- All areas of learning
- Social skills
- Understanding language
- Following instructions
- Learning to communicate
- Speech sounds
All children will develop attention skills at different speeds but there are things we can do to help.
Some things we can do to help:
- Reduce distractions e.g. turn off the television; have fewer toys out.
- Focus your child’s attention, use their name.
- Show your child what you mean. It’s important that your child experiences success.
- Tell them exactly how to do good listening: e.g. sit still, look at who is talking, think about what is being said.
- Give your child specific praise for what they have done/achieved.
- Give instructions in small steps - one piece of information at a time if needed.
- Emphasise the key words that will help your child to know what to do. e.g. you need your shoes … and bag.
- Give instructions in the order they are to happen, e.g. “Put your shoes away then wash your hands”.
- For older children check if they have understood the question/instruction by encouraging them to repeat back what they think they are expected to do.
Ways to Build Good Listening Skills
Good Listening Looks Like...