The doorbell house is recommended for children from 3-5 years of age. But I find it just as relevant for even younger children, of course under the guidance of a grown up.
Actually, I fell in love with this house when our audiologist presented it to us, right after Albertes CI-surgery, which she had 23 days after her first birthday. She was essentially just over a year old when we first played with the doorbell house.
We have always been told, that in AVT it is important to have high expectations to what our children are able to achieve.
When I see my children’s exitement over something new – well. I’m the type of mother that simply has to go out and buy it. I just LOVE to see how happy and exited they become.
How to reach your AVT – goals and strategies with the Doorbell house
Step 1. Learn to observe through listening
Our brain teaches us how to listen so vocabulary training is in fact a kind of “brain fitness”.
For the child to trust their hearing and develop their brain auditively, it is important always to present toys auditively before visualy:
“Let’s play with the Doorbell house”
Let the child help you find the Doorbell house before playing – the child has heard the word “Doorbell House” and will learn to trust their hearing and listening skills.
Step 2. Listening game – attention to sounds
To develop their attention to sound, children will benfit from playing small listening games. The Doorbell House is highly suitable for those children, who have just had CI-surgery.
The Doorbell House has 4 different ringtones:
Let the child press one of the doorbells and point to your ear with great surprise and wonder “I heard a doorbell ring”.
Switch roles and expect the child to point to their ear at the sound of a bell ringing.
As the child gets more experienced in hearing the doorbells, you may sophisticate the game by determining which door has a certain ringtone, of course without the child seeing the house at the same time: “That ringtone belongs to the red door”
Step 3: Counting skills, modelling and auditory closure
The house contains 4 keys, 4 doors, 4 doorbells and 4 play people.
Start by playing a little counting game and then let the child repeat the numbers (imitation)In the beginning, it will be a simple rhyme for the child to imitate and up to the age of 2 it should be kept Technical terms and phrasessimple and straight forward for the child to remember. As you develop the game, you may pause after counting 1…2…and (wait for the child to participate) ..3! = Auditory closure. (Learn more in our mini dictionary of Technical terms and phrases)
Each of the 4 keys and 4 doors have matching numbers. Play together with finding the right key to the right door.
Step 4: Talk, talk, talk.. every word will strengthen your child’s vocabulary skills
Talk about the shapes and colors of the Doorbell House and observe other familiar and well-known topics.
Involve the little play people – what are the wearing and do they match the house in any way? Talk about mum, day and boys and girls.
Step 4: Words and phrases describing everyday actions and imitation
Paying someone a visit
Ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door
One of the play people says “Come in”!
Unlock and open the door
Say hello to one of the dolls
The doll says bye and goes inside
Say goodbye and close the door
Use words such as open, close, lock, unlock, knocking on the door, ringing the doorbell, go inside, go outside – and teach the child to imitate these phrases.
Step 4: Learning “where is” and non-specific concepts
Play a hide-and-seek game with the play people or something else.
Teach the child to ask “where is…” and always respond with “here is…”
Practice phrases such as gone or empty. It can be a bit confusing for the child to talk about something that is not actually there, so it will take a bit of practice in the beginning.