The Habit of Listening; Games that Encourage Listening

While we are working on developing the habit of listening I think it’s important to keep it fun and relate-able to the boys so we have been playing a lot of games to help with reinforcing the habit!

Here are a list of games we have come up with that help encourage the habit of listening:

Simon Says – at 3 and 5 they are pitifully bad at this game but they have loads of fun trying to discern when they are to follow instructions and when they are not to.

Name that Sound – Using this basket of instruments play an instrument without the child seeing – either stand behind them, just outside the room, or blindfold them. Ask them to identify the instrument played. Add several instruments as they become familiar with the sounds and have them lay out the instruments in the order you played them. {for fun, let them do this to you too!}

What Time Is It Captain Midnight? – We stumbled upon this game while searching for unique Awana games to play as Paul and I are game directors and this game has been a huge hit with kids of all ages and our boys enjoy playing it at home with us. It is identical to What Time is it Mr. Wolf if you are familiar with that game. One person, Captain Midnight, stands on the other side of the room, with his back to the other players. The other players call out; “What time is it Captain Midnight?” Captain Midnight calls out a time between 1 and 11 and the players need to take that many steps. This repeats until Captain Midnight says it is midnight, at which point he chases the children back to the start line trying to tag them. Those that are tagged are out.

Marco Polo – One child is blindfolded and calls out “Marco” and the other players respond with “Polo”. The blindfolded child tries to tag the others by following their voice. {Usually a pool game, but the boys enjoy playing it in our living room}

Blindfolded Obstacle Course – Blindfold the children and give them verbal instructions to get through a series of obstacles set up in the room.

Find the Object – Set up a random assortment of items on a table in one room and take the children to another room. Give them details about which object you’d like them to go and find from the table, for example; “Please bring me the smallest yellow item on the table.” or “Please bring me the book that talks about a little girl and a bear eating blueberries.”
This game has been the boys favorite and we’ve played it about 4 times so far!

Get Across the Room – So similar to Marco Polo and the Obstacle Course, however slightly different.  Put the blindfolded children on one side of the room and have a partner for each child on the other side of the room {this works well for us as each boy is blindfolded and Paul and I play the role of the partners}. As the partner we direct our own {blindfolded} partner across the room to us, so they need to know and listen to the voice of the parent they are partnered up with.

Whac-A-Mole Arcade Game – a great game that is truly fun to play. At the beginning of each round each player is assigned a sound and a mole and when your mole pops up he makes his sound and you need to whack it. **Note, they don’t seem to be manufacturing the exact game we have, which is described above. This is another Whac a Mole version which we haven’t played, but I imagine is similar.

Any other games you can think of to help encourage the habit of listening?

See also:: Raising a Sensory Smart Child

Games That Encourage The Habit of Paying Attention To Other’s Needs


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26 Replies to “The Habit of Listening; Games that Encourage Listening

  1. Such great ideas! This was my daughters goal at her last parent/teacher conference so we'll have to try some of these out!

  2. Great ideas! I really love the last one as it encourages focusing and listening even when there are distractions. We will definitely be using these games in our house. Thanks!

  3. This is great! Our daughter is 3 but is starting pre-school early because of her speech development. We've been in need of some good games to practice listening before the school year begins!

  4. We do a drawing to music listening game. I play happy music, sad, scary, exciting and they scribble along to the beat or draw emotional faces for how the music sounds. I've gotten whole scenes of ghosts and circuses handed to me. Amazing creativity and exposure to different sounds.

  5. SimplyFun has a great listening game.
    Pickles Pig Tales is a game where you
    need to have imagination and listening

  6. what a wonderful list! it's so easy for me to just fall into preaching why it's important to listen… rather than making it fun! thank you for the inspiration 🙂

  7. Love your blog. So happy that I discovered you…I think via Pinterest. I look forward to connecting more with you. Listening activities are huge generally with child development, for all the reasons you list above (which I LOVE) but also general sensory development. I have written on the topic, not from the same angle as you but I like this…you got me thinking…thank you. ~ Marnie

    1. Hi Terry – these are the habits and games that I currently have (top 4 posts). I have plans to get more habits and games listed, but haven’t done so yet.
      Games have been an EXCELLENT source of teaching for my boys. Maybe some of the other games/habits can be adjusted for controlling anger? I will be thinking about it for a future post 🙂

  8. Another good game is to draw a selection of simple pictures on a piece of paper, then the child is given a pen and blank piece of paper and has to duplicate the picture by following instructions. So for example you might instruct them to draw a circle that is approximately 5cm across, then draw a square inside the circle with it’s corners touching the circle edges… Compare pictures after to see how well it was described or how well it was interpreted. It’s a good game for not only someone learning to communicate precisely, but also for listening effectively… Simple shapes for little kids, more difficult for older kids.

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