For today’s Tiny Club, we’re going to learn about listening.
Listen: to give your attention to something or someone.
Our August Tiny Club book of the month is Cori Doerrfeld’s The Rabbit Listened. Watch this reading of the book with your child, then talk about what the rabbit did. The rabbit listened to Taylor when the other animals wouldn’t. How did that help Taylor? How do we feel when people don’t listen to us? How do we feel when they do listen to us?
When we listen, we give our attention to someone. We hear what they say and try to understand; listening is a great way to practice empathy. When we listen, we make people feel valued and special. When we don’t listen, we make them feel sad and lonely. Ask your child who they listen to. Ask who listens to them.
Telephone is a helpful game to practice listening skills because it requires paying careful attention. Ask your family to sit in a circle with family members spaced out so there’s no accidental eavesdropping. Have one family member think of a word or phrase; have them quietly whisper it into the ear of the person sitting to their right. Move through the circle with each person repeating what they heard to the person to their right until everyone has had a chance to play. When the “telephone” gets to the last person, have them say out loud to the group what they heard. Usually, the end result is very different from the original word or phrase! With lots of listening practice, however, the end result may end up very close to the starting message.
Tin Can Telephone
We may not have as many opportunities to speak to our loved ones face-to-face right now due to COVID-19, but there are still many ways to stay in touch. We can write letters, video call, and chat over the phone.
For younger children, a tin can telephone is a great way to practice listening and talking over the phone.
A long piece of string
Two tin cans with the lids removed
A nail or screw
Step 1. Have an adult use the hammer and nail or screw to poke a hole into the bottom of each can.
Step 2. Pull the string through each of the holes, pushing it from the outside of the can to the inside of the can. Knot the string on the inside so that it stays put.
Step 3. Have one person hold one can up to their ear. Have the other person talk into the other can.
When we talk, we send vibrations through the air. Those vibrations travel through one can, through the string, and back out to the other can.