Games to develop listening skills

Updated April 17, 2017

Developing good listening skills is vital to our everyday lives. At school, in a relationship or at the workplace, good listening skills can help you to be successful. Teaching children good listening skills at a young age can help them to be effective listeners as adults. Use creative games and activities to teach children good listening skills.

Word Clap

For young children in elementary or preschool, teach listening skills with books and interactive activities. Gather the children together on the floor and read them a story that repeats a particular word many times. Instruct the children to clap every time they hear that word. You can make the game more competitive by paying attention to which children are clapping only after hearing their classmates clap. These kids can be "out" and the game can continue until establishing a winner.

Circle Message

Ask children to sit in a circle on the floor or outside. Whisper a short action phrase into the ear of one child, for example, "Touch your nose and jump up and down." Instruct the children to whisper the message from one person to the next until reaching the end. The last student to receive the message must perform the action. This is a great game to play for children to practice attentive listening skills.

Draw a Picture

This game works well for people of all ages. Choose more difficult pictures for older individuals. Explain to the children that they are to draw a picture according to your verbal instructions. For example, to draw a picture of a cat, you can begin by telling the students to draw a figure eight with two triangles at the top. Continue to give verbal instructions on how to draw the cat and award the child whose drawing closely resembles yours.

Actions and Sounds

Prepare an audio track that plays a variety of different sounds such as a car horn, a whistle and a bell chime. Explain to the students that each sound is associated with an action. For example, when the children hear the car horn they should jump. Play the audio track and watch as the children perform the necessary actions. If a child stops paying attention or incorrectly performs an action, she is "out" and sits down. Continue playing until a winner is determined.

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About the Author

Based in Colorado, Gisela Chavez has been writing and editing since 2004. Her editorial experience ranges from editing technical documents to editing for “The Bloomsbury Review.” She earned a professional writing certificate from the University of Colorado, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish.