› Make music an integral part of every day. Sing to
boost language acquisition. Singing a simple set of directions lends some fun to learning a necessary bit
of information. Give simple directions that are age appropriate to help children be successful in their
listening. Start with one direction. When a child can easily follow, add a second direction, then a third. try
to keep the activity positive and fun. › provide activities that introduce a variety of sounds.
use words that not only identify the sounds but also are descriptive, such as “loud,” “soft,” “blasting,” and
“quiet” to increase both understanding and vocabulary.
› avoid exposing children to noisy atmospheres for
prolonged periods. Some children react to loud noises with out-of-control behavior. Make sure
headphones and ear buds do not have loud music blasting into the child’s ear. prolonged exposure
results in hearing loss. Seeing
Even though the circuitry of vision is completed in
infancy, visual discrimination continues to develop
over time. Acuity, or the ability to see not just the
object but also the details of the object, improves
with age. Children need the ability to distinguish
between spaces, lines, and shapes to be able to iden-
tify letters. They need to focus on the differences
between similar letters like “p” and “b” so they can
read the difference between “pear” and “bear.” They
will have to learn the difference between pastel
blue and navy and distinguish between the shape
of a seashell and a jellyfish before deciding to pick
it up. All these visual clues have to be learned.
From age three, children should have their eyes
checked periodically. Only through a visual screen-
ing can amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” be diagnosed. If
not treated, the child could lose sight in that eye.
› provide quiet periods as well as times with purpose-
ful listening activities. Quiet can be very relaxing. › Spark interest with toys that make sounds, such as
balls, cars, and trains. help children mimic the sounds as they play. listen to instrumental record-
ings and help children identify and imitate the sound they hear.
› point out environmental sounds. help connect the
sounds to the object making the noise. discuss the different pitches and tones they hear.
› listen to children when they talk. this models
listening skills for them. › play taped stories and music to hone listening skills.
› Be silly and creative with known nursery rhymes.
change the pitch of your voice and encourage the children to follow as you sing “itsy Bitsy Spider”
and “Great Big Spider” or “i’m a little teapot” and “i’m a Great Big teapot.”
20 c h a p t e r 2
p r e S c h o o l ac t i v i t i e S
› describe what children see, both real objects and
pictures. Make the descriptions more complex as children grow older.
› point out colors, objects, and shapes in the surround-
ing environment. help children see the variety of what can represent “blue,” “hat,” or “dog.”
› teach children how to recognize body language and
connect it to feelings. examine faces, arm gestures, and stances. connect feelings to the movements so
they can see the difference between anger and pleasure. try to keep a cheerful, positive appearance
to give them a secure feeling. › provide a variety of colorful, culturally diverse posters
or pictures placed at eye level to entice and delight children. Show various family confi gurations and
community helpers. talk about what they see. Give children a descriptive vocabulary linked to what they
are seeing. Match the sentence structure to the child’s maturity.