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Planning Ahead? Tickets for summer visits and information about our Summer Hours of Operation will be available starting May 7th.

Early Literacy Play Tips: Listening Comprehension

Early literacy is what children need to learn about reading and writing before they actually begin to read and write.

Developing specific skills through fun activities help prepare children to become strong, successful readers in their future. 

Today’s early literacy skill area is: LISTENING COMPREHENSION

Listening comprehension is understanding the meaning of spoken words and relating to them. For example, if a child hears a story aloud, they are able to understand it, remember it, talk about it, and possibly even retell it. 

Why is listening comprehension important? 

  • Studies have shown that listening comprehension is an essential pre-reading skill. 

  • It reinforces a child’s ultimate reading comprehension. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to develop higher levels of comprehension overall. 

  • It helps build upon and strengthen a child’s vocabulary and communication skills. 

What are some ways you can build your child’s listening comprehension? 

  • By TalkingMaking predictions is a major component of listening comprehension and you can engage in that through dialogue. Ask your child fun, “I wonder what is going to happen next” predictions as you do your daily activities together. (Example: “I wonder what will happen to the trash once the trash collector takes it from our house?”) 

  • By SingingMany famous nursery rhymes and children’s songs tell a story (Example: Hey Diddle Diddle). First, help your child learn and sing the whole song. Then, ask them about what happens in the beginning, middle, and end.  

  • By Reading: When unfamiliar words appear, give your child a simple and age-appropriate definition with one or two examples that would make sense to them. Then, encourage them to think of the word’s opposite or give their own example. Finally, use the word in your casual talks over the next few days. 

  • By Writing: Make your own comic strips or books with your child. They are an excellent way to learn about story structure and sequencing. Plus, your child can retell the comic to other family members. 

  • By Playing: Act out stories you’ve read together in dramatic play scenarios. These stories could also include your child’s favorite movies! 

By engaging in activities like these, you will help develop your child’s reading and writing skills, preparing them as they transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Also, keep your eyes out for our Reader Pan and Tinker Spell’s Literacy Activities, which will provide additional fun games that you can play alongside your child. 


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