Prep: 5-10 Minutes / Activity Time: 5-10 Minutes

Listening activities help children attune to sounds and lay the groundwork for hearing and identifying the more subtle sounds that make up words. In this fun activity, your child will be asked to listen for and act upon a super word.

  • index cards
  • pen or pencil


Step 1: Make up several short stories that include a super word. You can write down the stories on index cards or make them up as you go. See sample stories below.

Step 2: Create a super word wand. This could be as simple as a tongue depressor with a glittery star glued to it.


Step 1: Tell your child that you are going to tell him a story that has a super word.

Step 2: Give him the super word wand. Tell him to wave the wand every time he hears the super word. Place emphasis on the super word when you tell the story.

Sample Stories:

  • The super word is puppy. When you hear the word puppy, wave your super word wand high in the air.
    “One day, mommy and daddy said we were going to get a new pet! I was so excited. I wondered what kind of pet we would get. Would it be a kitten? Would it be a gerbil? Would it be a puppy? I’ve always wanted a puppy. We all jumped in the car and went to the pet store. I had never seen so many pets all in one place. First, we looked at the colorful fish. Then we laughed at the gerbil running on a wheel. Finally, we walked to the back of the store and saw the most beautiful puppy I had ever seen! I was so happy when we were able to take the puppy home!”


  • The super word is seashells. When you hear the word seashells, wave your super word wand high in the air.
    “The sun was shining brightly in the sky. Mommy and daddy wanted to go to the beach. We could play in the water, build sandcastles and collect lots of seashells. I love going to the beach! I put on my bathing suit and we packed up the car.  Mommy grabbed my favorite green pail to hold all the seashells I would find. At the beach, I splashed in the water with daddy and then we built a giant sandcastle. Before we left, mommy and I walked down the beach and found the most beautiful seashells that I was able to keep. I had so much fun collecting seashells at the beach today!”


  • The super word is safari. A safari is a long trip or journey to look at animals. When you hear the word safari, wave your super word wand high in the air.
    “Today, I went to the zoo with my daddy and my big brother. We went on a safari ride to look at lots of zoo animals. There are a lot of different animals that live in the Daddy said we will be able to see some of them on the safari ride. There were lions that roared, elephants with long tusks, and even hippos hiding under the water. My favorite animal was the cheetah.  Cheetahs have spots all over and can run really fast. I cannot wait to go home and tell mommy about our safari ride.”

Be a model for your child. Both of you can hold a super word wand. Wave your wand each time you say the super word in the story. Encourage your child to wave his wand at the same time.

Ask your child to listen for a two-word phrase. Tell him that he needs to listen for the two words used together. For example, the phrase might be purple truck. Tell your child to raise his wand each time he hears these two words used together.