Auditory perception is our brain’s ability to interpret and create clear impressions of sounds from our surroundings. Remembering the things we hear and recalling them is among the key aspects that make up its whole, aptly termed auditory memory. While it may seem simple enough, recognising sounds and voices and identifying the details behind them is, in reality, a very complex process that develops during the early stages of life. If it is hampered in some way, children may face difficulties at school and in everyday life in various ways, such as reading.
Developing a child’s auditory memory is crucial as it is a vital part that enables them to understand the things they hear and follow directions and multi-part instructions. Besides managing and navigating school life easily, auditory memory skills are also essential in developing one’s overall auditory perception, which largely affects reading ability. Children must learn to remember and recognise sounds to decode words when spelling and reading. Therefore, auditory memory is indispensable in building their pre-reading skills.
Apart from enjoyment, parents can also leverage play time to develop various skills in their children, including auditory memory. Below are a few fun and simple games that can promote the proper development of this essential skill so they can thrive in reading and language, Math, and many other subjects in their schooling.
1. Musical chairs
Musical chairs is a classic game that has long been a staple in many a kid’s birthday party. As a refresher, playing this game requires chairs set up in a circle numbering one less than the total players and a music player. When the music starts, everyone walks around the chairs, and they race to find a seat once it stops. The person left standing is out of the game, and another chair is removed from the circle. Repeat the steps until a winner is decided. This game trains a child’s listening skills and how they can quickly pick up on sounds.
The telephone game is another fun game whose goal is to pass the correct message from one player to another until the end. This game is ideal for developing auditory memory skills as they must correctly pass on what they heard instantly. To play the game, players sit in a circle with one person thinking up a message or phrase to pass on to the player next to them. Then, each person takes turns whispering what they heard until it reaches the last person, who will repeat what they heard out loud. As the original message often gets lost in the process, the telephone game no doubt makes for plenty of fun and laughter!
Despite being a simple activity, reading to your children has immense value beyond quality bonding time. When telling a story, try to see if your child can remember what happened at the beginning or several pages ago. Asking about specific details and their potential relevance to the current part of the story helps to enhance a child’s working memory and develop their thinking skills.
4. Take messages
At home, parents can turn the simple task of delivering messages to family members into a game for their child. Instead of simply calling out or sending a chat message, you could have your child play postman, so to speak, and task them with delivering a very important message to someone in the house. See if they can relay the message correctly, like in the telephone game, along with every detail you mentioned.
5. Treasure hunt
Have your little ones embark on a mini treasure hunt around the house for their favourite treats, a new toy, or anything else they enjoy. Give them clues to its hidden location and tag along on their search. The goal is to test and train their auditory memory by giving them various steps and multiple instructions to follow.
Auditory perception enables children to effectively understand and interpret stimuli captured by their ears and covers more than just functional hearing. With auditory memory playing a critical role in this type of perception, it is vital to be attentive to whether they exhibit signs of auditory perceptual problems involving “forgetting” messages and instructions.
Apart from training at home with games and fun activities like those discussed above, enrolling in a literacy enrichment program in Singapore can also promote its development. At The Brain Academia Singapore, our comprehensive enrichment classes help to optimise your child’s greatest asset — their brain — and overcome the developmental roadblocks hindering them from reaching their true potential. With measurable, lifetime results and many positive testimonials from satisfied parents, your child’s accelerated growth is guaranteed at our decorated learning enrichment centre.