Teach your little one about how ears work.

How to Teach Preschoolers About Hearing

by Kelly Sundstrom

Does your preschooler seem to ignore you when you call? You might wonder if she has a hearing problem. However, most preschoolers may not answer because they often become preoccupied or are strong-willed. One way to encourage your child to listen when you call her is to teach her about the way her ears work and about her sense of hearing. Your little one may not get any better at responding when you call, but at least you can know that she understands how her hearing works.

1. Ear Diagram

1 Show your little ones a diagram of an ear. Print out an ear diagram from a picture you can find online, or you can buy a premade ear diagram at an educational supply store. Make sure that the diagram lists all of the parts of the outer and inner ear and that it is colorful and easy to see.

2. Ear Diagram

2 Point to the outer ear on the picture, and say to your preschoolers, "Here is the outer ear. Can you find your outer ear?" Touch your own outer ear to demonstrate.

3. Ear Diagram

3 Talk about how the outer ear channels noises and sound into the inner ear and that different animals can hear better because their outer ears are larger. Ask your children, "Who can think of an animal with very large ears?" Give a few more examples after they answer, such as a rabbit, a deer or a cat.

4. Ear Diagram

4 Show the children the diagram again, and talk about the inner ear and how there are tiny parts inside the inner ear that are extremely delicate and vital to getting sound to the brain. Tell your preschoolers how important it is to keep objects out of their ears to protect their hearing. Keep the information simple, and don't spend too much time with details that little children may not understand.

5. Making Mega Ears

1 Show your little ones how they can experience super hearing by making a pair of mega ears. Give each child two sheets of construction paper, any color that they prefer.

6. Making Mega Ears

2 Curl each piece of paper into a cone, wrapping each cone around a child's ear so that the smallest part of the cone fits over her ear.

7. Making Mega Ears

3 Instruct the preschoolers to put their mega ears over their own ears to hear like cats, deer and rabbits do. Sit back and enjoy seeing your little ones laugh with excitement over their new gigantic ears.

Items you will need

  • Diagram of an ear
  • Construction paper
  • Masking tape

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images