Simon Says – Act Like Spies. Games to develop listening skills in your first grader. 

What You Need To Know

With reading and writing still very much in early development, listening is the most important learning technique in First Grade. Practice these suggestions and your child will not only strengthen their listening skills, but also develop the ability to follow instructions. 

How You Can Help

  1. Steven and Stephanie Spy. Children can learn just as much from hearing as real spies can. Ask you child to sit still and close their eyes, then pick out three or four different sounds. Can you hear wind or rain, the hum of the fridge or the TV, the squeak of the doors, the footsteps of the neighbors, or the sound of cars outside? 
  2. Spies outside. No more televisions, but lots more birds. Take your child for a walk. Practice identifying not only the sounds, but also where they came from. 
  3. Hearing games. Have your child close their eyes, and try to figure out how you’re making different sounds. Suggestions include opening an envelope, clicking a ballpoint pen, undoing a pickle jar, locking the door, or using a can-opener. 
  4. Simon Says. This will develop your child’s ability to follow instructions. “Simon says, ‘Touch your toes.’” “Simon says, “Stand on one leg.’” If your child’s already a pro, make the instructions more complex and speak faster. And remember, if you don’t say ‘Simon says’ and they follow the instruction, it’s game over. 
  5. Boogie Band Studio. This free online game can be fun for first graders ( Collect a handful of household noise-makers (drum, rattle, pasta in a jar, bell, spoon and bowl), then try to copy the rhythms and beats. 

For more information on improving listening skills, please see the full article: