Engage Your Mini Mimic
Pick out a sound that's not immediately in front of you, like the dog's bark that's coming from next door. Call your child's attention to it by saying, "Listen! Do you hear that dog barking?" Then, stay very still and quiet, modeling how to pay close attention by carefully listening. Next, ask your little one to copy what she's hearing (if she hesitates, you can prompt her with your own interpretation of the sound).
How It Helps Being able to focus on a sound without a visual cue might be tough for your toddler at first, but over time this activity will help her learn to listen carefully and improve her concentration skills. "Encourage her attempts by saying, 'Wow, I like how you listened to that doggy and tried to sound just like him,'" says Mari Blaustein, director of Early Childhood Initiatives for GrowUpLearning.com.