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A site for parents of hard of hearing & deaf children.
In the News - News articles about hearing impairment, new technologies, and other related materials.
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Listening & Speech Development Activities
Developed by: Debra Nussbaum, Audiologist, Bettie Waddy-Smith -Communication Specialist/Speech - Kendall Demonstration Elementary School.

  • Present a variety of objects in a structured situation:
      -demonstrate which objects make sound and which objects do not
      -let the children see and feel (if vibrating ) which objects make sound

  • Present objects making sound in their natural environment

  • Label objects which make sound in the environment.

  • Label objects that are loud and quiet

  • Introduce concept that some objects make sound in the environment and some do not

  • Introduce concept of loud and quiet
  • Present sound (drum, clapping, voice, music) to cause:
      -a toy to move ( some toys are sound activated or you can move toy in response to the sound)
      -a doll or person to wake up
      -a light to appear

  • Introduce concept that sound can cause something to happen
  • Present sound (music, drum, clapping) while child is seated on adult's lap. Have adult bounce the child for as long as the sound is on and stop bouncing when the sound stops.

  • Variation: beat a drum fast or slow. Bounce the child to the beat of the drum

  • Note: Encourage use of the words stop and more via sign/ speechreading/ listening appropriate for each child's language level/goal during this activity

  • Exposure to sound awareness

  • Exposure to fast/slow

  • Attach language more/stop to a sound based activity
  • Introduce vibrotactile stimulator (specialized equipment that vibrates in reaction to voice) Encourage children to:

      -feel vibration of sounds
      -use their voice to feel vibration
      -watch beans/colored candy/ sand
      move on a paper plate in response to voice

  • Sing or hum to a young child while holding them against your chest

  • Encourage voicing

  • Understand on/off nature of sound

  • Develop awareness that you can Feel some sounds

  • Develop awareness that some sounds make things move

  • Provide comfort and stimulation through vibration

  • Demonstrate and have children imitate a variety of :

      - facial expressions
      - body movements
      - mouth movements

  • Exposure to concept that information can be obtained on the face/lips/body

  • Encourage children to look to the face for information

  • Encourage eye contact

  • Encourage basic skills necessary for communication
  • Introduce children to a variety of animal puppets related to animals that make sound. Imitate the sounds that the animals make.

      -Expose child to puppets coupled with their accompanying sound.
      -Using two puppets, provide the sound for each puppet while holding up the puppet. Next, make one of the animal sounds. See if child will turn or point to the puppet coupled with that sound. Choose animals with sounds that differ significantly (i.e. moooooooo vs woof woof woof)

  • Encourage child to imitate sounds coupled with the puppets

  • Introduce child to beginning activity to associate sound to a specific object.

  • Assist in determinating if child is beginning to differentiate between sounds

  • encourage child to begin to imitate sounds

  • encourage vocal play
  • PEEK A BOO Play "peek a boo" game. Encourage child to look at your mouth while saying "peek a boo"

  • Stimulate laughing

  • Encourage child to look to the lips for communication information
  • Provide opportunities for child to interact with IBM Speechviewer program on the computer. Expose children to activities that stimulate their use of voice in a variety of ways using visually motivating reinforcement

  • Work on skills related to:
    -use of voicing

    -monitoring of pitch

    -monitoring of loud/quiet

    -specific sound production

    -other specified skills
  • Demonstrate and encourage blowing using a variety of materials ( bubbles, windmill, feather, cotton on string, etc...)

  • Encourage breath control needed for speech development

  • Begin to imitate mouth movements

  • Introduce child to a variety of musical instruments.

  • Have child make their own drums, horns, guitars, rattles, etc....

  • Expose to concept that instruments make noise

  • Music enjoyment

  • Introduce child to music using audio tapes.

      -have the child feel the speakers of the tape recorder to know when the music is on/off

      - place a beach ball or balloon on the speaker. Have the child feel the balloon/ball as the music is on/off.

  • Music enjoyment

  • Exposure to the vibrotactile nature of sound

  • Exposure to on/off nature of sound
  • Introduce and encourage child to use sounds that occur in natural play with toys.

    Ex. - 'vrrooom' for a car/truck
          - 'weeeeeee" when sliding
          - 'uh oh' when tower falls

  • Encourage use of voicing in natural play situations.
  • Introduce variety of objects and action words. Introduce mouth movements associated with these objects and actions.

    -Say the name of the object. Have child put object in can, box
          - 'weeeeeee" when sliding

  • Introduce child to concept that language occurs on the lips

  • Help child begin to lipread a few words




Help Kids Hear is a site dedicated to helping parents of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. We are parents of hard of hearing kids and simply want to "give back" to the community. We welcome your comments, questions & suggestions. Please drop us a note at