Educational games

Auditory memory: learning with your ears

What is auditory memory?

Auditory memory is your child’s ability to remember the sounds, words, and short sentences he hears and then be able to associate them with what they represent. For example, it allows him to recognize sounds associated with certain objects (e.g., vacuum cleaner, telephone), means of transportation (e.g., car, fire truck), and animals (e.g., dog, cat, horse).

By developing his auditory memory, your child is gradually you are saying to him. He discovers his environment by being more confident. You can help your child to exercise his auditory memory as soon as he is a baby. This helps your child to gradually. Baby starts by understanding and remembering the words he hears, and as he grows older he learns to reproduce them.

Listening to understand and learn

From 12 months to 18 months, your child’s auditory memory helps him or her understand instructions and know what to do to follow them. This will be very useful at home, at daycare, and later at school.

Your toddler’s skills are the reason he learns most of what he learns. At school, for example, she’ll learn to count, read, and solve math problems by listening. If he doesn’t listen well, he won’t be able to understand what he needs to do (e.g., instructions for an exercise or for learning how to tie his shoes).

Rhymes and songs help your child develop his auditory memory.

Your child also develops social skills through listening. To get along with others, to prevent arguments, and to resolve conflicts, your child needs to be able to listen to what is being said without interrupting. When he listens before he speaks, he hears what others have to say and understands the situation better.

How can we stimulate his auditory memory?

0 to 12 months

  • Talk to your baby and describe what you do every day.
  • Name the parts of his body and his clothes when you give him his bath and when you dress him, for example.
  • Listen to music with your baby and sing nursery rhymes

One to three years.

  • Name a few pictures in a book and then have your child repeat the words.
  • Play to recognize ambient sounds (e.g. horn, bird, fire truck) and ask where they come from.
  • Sing your child knows by replacing or changing a word.
  • Recite simple rhymes with your child.
  • Imitate different animal calls and ask your child to recognize them.
  • Give simple instructions to your toddler (e.g., “Get your pajamas from your bed”).

3 to 5 years old

  • Read a story to your child and then ask questions about what happened. He or she will need to remember what you read to be able to answer.
  • Ask your child to repeat in his or her own words a sentence or explanation he or she has just heard.
  • Clap your hands or clap on the table to create a rhythm that your child has to repeat.
  • Play a memory game and say aloud what’s in each picture.
  • Play “John Says”.
  • Play “When I go to the market, I put in my little basket.” Repeat the sentence and name an item to put in the grocery basket. Players take turns repeating the sentence, naming the items already in the basket and adding an item of their choice.
  • Make riddles.

Double instructions
Double instructions (e.g., “Go get your sister’s pajamas and then take them to Daddy in the bathroom”) are more difficult for the child to understand. The child has to remember two things to do in the same request. Children usually understand double instructions by age 2 ½ years to 3 years.

Things to remember

  • Music, nursery rhymes, and short stories help your child develop his or her auditory memory.
  • When you name your daily actions, you allow your child to memorize many words.
  • Through auditory memory, your child can develop language and understand what you say. Your child needs to listen to you to retain information and understand what you are saying. How can you help him or her? Your toddler needs to develop good listening skills to retain information and understand what you are saying. This will also allow him to learn a lot.