When it comes to hearing, babies use what they hear to make sense of the world. Generally, children have more sensitive hearing that adults and they can hear a greater variety of sounds. But it’s still important for brain connections and readiness for kindergarten to promote development of hearing–and listening–skills.
What are some ways to encourage the sense of hearing? Telling stories, listening to adults reading books outloud and, of course, songs and singing. At this time of year, one of kids favorite songs is Jingle Bells. And they like to shake bells, or other things, along with the song. Finding some other objects for your child that make noise is great fun and great science, too. And it helps train the ears for kindergarten readiness.
Keys will work to jingle but I have experience of a whole set of keys disappearing from a wee one’s hands into a black hole never to be seen again. A quick look around the house will usually turn up some objects that will make noise. A potato chip can with some plastic spoons makes a neat sound. Or try one of those little tea tins with some hard macaroni. Many Christmas decorations have bells. There’s a homemade bell in the picture, made from a paper cup, ribbon and a little bell.
Once you and your child have explored sounds, share some quiet time. Close eyes and just listen for a few seconds. What sounds did you hear? Could that be reindeer?