LSL Strategies

Hear It Before They See It is when you let your child hear a sound or word before you show them the object.

Providing ear contact before eye contact is critical to growing your child's auditory skills. Another name for this is "audition first," and it will help their listening skills become as strong as their visual skills.

This is a strategy you'll focus on a lot, especially in the beginning. As your child's listening skills improve, they'll understand speech and language better. They'll recognize small differences in words that are similar, like ball and tall. They'll also better understand the chatter around the dinner table and when you are playing or sharing books with them.

What It Looks Like

When playing with toys or sharing a daily routine, let your child hear your words first before you show them the object or start any actions. Start a song or fingerplay before doing any motions. When sharing a book, talk about the next page before you turn it.

  • With the object out of sight say, "Listen! I have a train."
  • Then talk about the object. "I hear the train! Choo-choo!"
  • Now show your child the train and name it again. "Here's your train. Choo-choo! The train goes fast."
  • You can ask "Do you want the train?" Then pause and wait to see if they reach for it. If they do, then say "Yes, you want the train. Here's the train! Push the train. The train is moving. Choo-choo! All aboard!"
Icon for Hear It Before They See It LSL Strategy

When you use Hear It Before They See It, you're developing your child's auditory attention, enhancing their listening skills, and promoting their knowledge of language.

Use Your Position to Keep the Focus on Listening

Very young infants need lots of face-to-face interaction to bond with you. As they get a little older, you can find ways to position your child so they can listen first while you play, read, and sing. Notice how these parents are helping their child focus on their listening as they play together.

Parents hold a puppet up to their smiling baby wearing hearing aids.

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