What are auditory skills?
Auditory skills relate to hearing, one of the traditional five senses. Hearing skills have a direct effect on how children will learn other skills. The ability to hear affects many other skills, including speaking, listening, learning and thinking.
How can you help baby develop auditory skills?
Newborn to Three Months:
Babies will jump or startle at loud noises. Use your voice to soothe and comfort your baby while you're patting or cuddling her.
Introduce rattles and toys with noises so that baby can learn to follow the sound. Shake the rattle to get baby's attention, and move it around while making a noise so that she can learn to track the sound of the toy with her eyes and head.
Talk to your baby. It doesn’t matter what you talk about, baby will enjoy the sound of your voice. Make sure that baby can see your face - this way she can see how your lips move when you make the sounds, and this will help her to understand the formulation of the words for her first forays into language.
Further Reading: How To Help Develop Baby's Hand Eye Coordination
Three to Six Months:
Sing songs to your baby. You don’t have to sing lullabies, sing whatever you like. Repeat songs often so that your baby can start to store a series of information. As your baby gets older and is able to talk, she'll be able to memorise and sing these songs back to you. Nursery rhymes are important.
Try giving baby simple musical toys like maracas that she can shake and produce a sound. She'll learn cause and effect skills at the same time - shaking the rattle produces a noise.
Repeat baby’s sounds back to her – ba ba’s and ooh’s and ah’s are all part of her finding her voice and processing the sounds she makes.
Six to Twelve Months:
Call baby’s name to encourage her to respond to her name.
Introduce toys with different sounds – musical toys are excellent for this.
Teach her how to make noises by clapping, or banging her hands on the highchair or table.
Tell her what sounds she can hear. “Oh, there’s the telephone ringing.” Or “the dog is barking.”
Try hiding noisy things around the room. E.g. a ticking timer or a music box somewhere in the room and ask your toddler to find it.
Read books together and make the animal sounds - e.g. a cow says moo, a sheep says baa and a cat says miaow.
Further Reading: How To Help Develop Baby's Musical Skills
Twelve to Eighteen Months:
Baby will start to repeat words. Point out objects and tell her what they are, “That’s the banana.” “Here’s Daddy.”
Sing baby lots of simple songs and nursery rhymes.
Play music often, so that baby becomes familiar with different music.
Play games with music where you stop the music and baby has to stop moving.
Play lots of word games and peek a boo, pat a cake and physical games with songs.
Further Reading: How to Help Develop Baby's Cause & Effect Skills
Eighteen Months to Two Years:
Encourage your toddler to point to parts of her body when you ask her to.
Repeat the names of objects so that she can process them and learn how to say them for herself.
Give your toddler saucepan lids and other safe objects to bang and make lots of noise with.
Two to Three Years:
Do lots of singing and dancing with your toddler.
Encourage your toddler to make animal noises. “What does the cow say?”
Play musical games with your toddler, and provide her with lots of toys that make different sounds.
Where to buy Auditory Toys?
Hello Charlie has a great range of toys to help baby develop auditory skills. Australia wide shipping, same day despatch when you order before 10am.