Are you listening to me? Kids CAN learn to listen and it’s FUN!

getting kids to listen

Does it seem like your child doesn’t listen to you? Or doesn’t seem to follow directions very well? If you know the problem is not their hearing or ability to communicate, maybe the problem is that they need a little practice learning to listen. Nowadays, everything is competing for your child’s attention, beeping buttons, flashing screens, and colorful images. What if all those things were taken away? Well, only temporarily, of course. It’s hard to learn to do something without practice, and learning to listen is no different. We were going through this problem at my house, and I started wondering what I could do to help.

I am constantly reading to my kids, but they still seemed to have trouble listening. Why? Isn’t reading the best way to teach listening?  During a trip to the library, the answer to my problem was clear. AUDIOBOOKS! Of course! I checked a few out and hoped for the best. We tried the picture book with CDs. They loved them. It was a fun change from just listening to mommy read, and they learned to be quiet in order to hear the story. Then I tried the CD without the book while they ate their snack.  At first, my girls chattered through the books, but slowly they were quiet for more extended periods, and eventually, they ACTUALLY LISTENED to the entire story.  It was a semi-quiet time that we all enjoyed. Now we are big-time lovers of pairing an audiobook with drawing time or quiet time.

Here is a list of a few of our favorite audiobooks:

  • Mr. Putter & Tabby by Cynthia Rylant and Narrated by John McDonough (We love all things, Mr. Putter.)
  • Cowgirl Kate & Cocoa By Erica Silverman and Narrated by Elizabeth Morton
  • Maybelle Goes to Tea by Katie Speck and Narrated by Peggy Price
  • Marsupial Sue Presents “The Runaway Pancake”  by John Lithgow (We really enjoyed the book. The pictures were hilarious. My girls run around singing the pancake song. )
  • Tubby the Tuba by Paul Tripp and illustrated by Henry Cole (Make sure you get the audiobook version. It was excellent.)

If you enjoyed listening to the audiobooks but didn’t feel like having stacks of CDs lying around, look at your local library or try a subscription-based service like Audible on Amazon. It can make car rides or doctor’s appointments more fun; just make sure you bring the headphones.  If you’re not sure, your kids will give audiobooks a try, then try the 30-day-free trial of Audible or sign up for Audible Gold.

What audiobooks did your kids enjoy?

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