These activities will encourage children to discriminate between various sounds and will prepare them for learning different letter sounds:
Sing songs where children must reproduce different animal sounds.
Take turns making animal sounds and guessing which animals you are.
Ask silly questions that require the child to listen carefully. For example, “Does a horse have a tail or a mail?” “Do you cook in a pat or a pot?”
Rhyming words are words that sound alike at the end. Say nursery rhymes or read rhyming books. Ask the child the words that rhyme.
Say three words, two of which rhyme. The child will listen and pick out the rhyming pair. For example: bell, frog, tell; book, take, make. You can use the pants pocket chart as a visual support. By mixing up the pictures you can make games where the child must match up pictures that rhyme.
Say two words. If they are the same, the child stand up. If they are different. The child sit down. For example: pail, pail (the child stands up); man, men (sit down).
Use musical instruments and songs to improve auditory discrimination by having the child identify high and low, loud and soft.
Auditory memory can be developed through songs, finger plays, chants, rhymes, or activities similar to the ones below:
Listen up! Give the child a series of directions to follow. Start with two commands, then make them increasingly longer. For example: Put your hand on your head, then clap once. Put your hand on your head, clap once, touch your toes. (This is also fun to play outside).
Collect a box of toys, such as blocks, little dolls, cars, crayons, or eating utensils. Name three things. See who can remember what you said and take those items out of the box. Increase the number of items as the child improves.
Clap, slap, or snap a pattern. Have the child listen, then try to repeat the same pattern. For example: snap, snap, clap.
Let the child retell familiar stories to a friend or a small group.
Cut up old fairy tale books and have the child arrange the pictures in sequential orders.
After story time, ask the child to recall characters, events, and other details in the story.