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HOMER’s Skills Adventure: Listening

by | Apr 1, 2020 | Critical Thinking

We’re diving into listening! It’s never too early to teach kids to be active listeners. As they take in, process, and respond to information, they’re making connections with the world around them and the people in it! Listening improves language skills and makes kids better equipped to engage socially. Fostering these skills also helps kids follow directions, keeping them safe and making life easier for you (and their teachers!) 

Keep reading for some tips for implementing listening skills into your child’s learning routine!

Focused Learning Time (15 – 30 minutes) 

Practice LISTENING by completing these activities in HOMER! You can find them on your child’s learning pathway. 

Age 2-3: Listening Time

Age 3-4: Listening Time and  Letter Listening: A 

Age 5+:  New Letters and Sounds and Letters and Sounds: AOIU

Whole Body Movements (5 – 15 minutes)

Age 2-3: Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” – really completing each movement fully. You can even start slow and speed up! 

Age 3-4: Play “Hot and Cold” – hide a toy somewhere in the room. Then, as they search, call out “hot” or “cold” depending on how close or far away they are to finding the object.  

Age 5+: Play “Simon Says!” Add in directions that require full-body movement (for example, “Simon says reach up high!” or “Simon says hop up and down!”)

Fine Motor Activity (10 – 20 minutes)

Age 2-3: Use playdough to give simple instructions for them to follow. (Some examples could be to slice, pull apart, put back together.)

Age 3-4: Give them three step instructions to draw a fun new character! (For example, draw two eyes… a nose… and a mouth!)

Age 5+: Create a playdough masterpiece with verbal instructions. For this age group, give instructions in 3-4 steps. 

Yoga or Stretching (10 – 20 minutes)

Age 2-3: Now’s a great time to work on breath! Have them follow your count – “In 1… 2… 3… and out 1… 2… 3…”

Age 3-4: Move through a guided stretch together! (Example: “Reach hands up to the sky! Now, down to your toes!”) Focus on simple, easy to follow pairs of instructions.

Age 5+: Practice mindfulness! There are tons of great meditation apps for kids – we love this one from Headspace

Free Play (15 – 60 minutes)

Age 2-3: Creating a listening station with audiobooks to choose from! 

Age 3-4: Use a song to transition from one activity station to the next. When your child hears the song, they know it’s time to switch activities! 

Age 5+: Play some Disney music and make that the free play theme of the day!

Reading/Story Time (15 – 30 minutes)

Age 2-3: Choose a story with repetitive text (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a great example). Have your child listen for the part they know and chime in! 

Age 3-4: Have your child “read” a story from HOMER reading, then ask them to create a portrait of their favorite character!

Age 5+: Put on some micro-theater! Read a story from HOMER reading and then pick a part for your child to act out – they can even cast their toys as co-stars. 

Family Helping Time (10 – 20 minutes)

Age 2-3, 3-4 & 5+: Give them a musical challenge! During clean up time, put on a fun song and challenge them to finish cleaning up their play area before the song ends.  

Making Memories (20 – 30 minutes)

Age 2-3: Make a music video! You can record yourselves singing a song together, or put on music to dance along to. 

Age 3-4: Share your favorite part of the day. Then, ask them to illustrate drawing a picture of what you shared. 

Age 5+: Ask them to pick their favorite song.  Then, they can write or draw about why they like it. 

Snuggle Time (15 – 30 minutes)

Age 2-3: Play some soothing music! Hum along to the music as you snuggle. (Children love this soothing experience that often starts in the womb.)

Age 3-4: Put on a kid-friendly podcast like Little Stories for Tiny People and snuggle together while you listen.

Age 5+: Start listening to an audiobook together as you snuggle! 

Caregiver Gets Some Work Done Time! (30-60 Minutes) 

Age 2-3 & 3-4 Let your child choose from the stories in HOMER using the ‘read-to-me’ function.

Ages 5+ Give your child a kid-friendly podcast like But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids to listen to. 


Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos
Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos

Chief Learning Officer at Begin

Jody has a Ph.D. in Developmental Science and more than a decade of experience in the children’s media and early learning space.