Listening skills are critical for language development and reading. Children learn new vocabulary and expand their sentences and grammar—all thanks to listening. Poor listening skills might result in difficulty following directions and difficulty learning new words and constructing grammatically correct sentences. Preschool listening activities involve paying attention to environmental sounds, music, conversations, and stories.
We’ve compiled five preschool listening activities that focus on the fall/autumn season.
Create a Mural while listening to Fall Music
Set up some craft paper as a mural on a wall, long enough for all of the kids to have a spot in front of it. Provide plenty of paint and paintbrushes…Tell children they are going to listen to a piece of music and then they will make a painting to show how the music makes them feel. (source: Resources for Early Learning)
Demonstrate for children. Play FALL music and listen carefully for a few seconds; and then demonstrate for children how to paint how you feel. As you paint, say, This music makes me feel excited! It makes me want to paint like this! Exaggerate with long, strong strokes across the paper. Ask, How does the music make you feel?
Invite children to begin painting. Turn the volume up and down as they paint. As children paint, ask questions such as, What happens to the way you are painting when I raise the volume? When I lower the volume? Do you paint faster? Slower? Why? Place the paintings in an area to dry.
Free Fall Music can be downloaded at https://pixabay.com/music/search/autumn/
Fall-Themed Round Robin Story
Sit in a circle and explain that everyone will add one sentence to the fall story around and around until the story is complete. An adult should start the story, and then go around the circle clockwise with each person adding a sentence to the story. Children must listen carefully to know what happened before in the story and be able to add to it in a way that makes sense. Examples of Fall story starters:
- “I found a pile of leaves in my backyard.”
- “I saw the biggest pumpkin at the pumpkin patch.”
- “Once upon a time, there was a scarecrow who was scared of everything.”
- “There once was a squirrel who found a magic acorn.”
Listening Center with Fall-Themed Books
If you don’t already have a Listening Center, set one up! A listening center is a designated spot in the classroom with a tape, CD player, or iPod with multiple headphones, where students typically listen to recordings of books and follow along in hard copies. Research suggests that listening to reading strengthens literacy development and is an important element of becoming successful readers.
Fall Books that are available in audio book version (click each image to view on Amazon and listen to audible sample):
For more information on Listening Centers, visit Pre-K Pages Listening Center Article.
Fall Sound Hunt
Take children outside on a nice fall day and have listen carefully to the sounds outside, naming all the fall sounds they hear (ie. leaves blowing in the wind, squirrels, crunching leaves under feat, acorn falling from tree).
Hollow Pumpkin Drum
Utilize the hollow property of a pumpkin by making it a drum. Using a pumpkin, invite the children to beat out the syllables in their names. More details HERE.