11 Easy Listening Activities For Kids

Incorporating easy listening activities for kids either at home or in the classroom is a great way to develop your child’s active listening skills.

Being able to listen attentively is something that needs practice and patience.

Luckily, when you include these simple activities and games into your daily routine, your child’s active listening skills will very easily develop!

Why Listening Skills are Important?

Active listening is essentially the ability to accurately perceive what the other person is saying or experiencing through the use of words and body language.

When children have well-developed active listening skills, many other areas of their lives also improve such as:

  • Better relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
  • Higher academic achievements
  • Greater abilities in following directions and instruction
  • Enhanced language development and communication skills

While these 11 language activities for kids are great ways to help develop these skills, one of the best ways you can help your child is to demonstrate active listening when you engage with them.

One research study found that teachers who actively listen to their students with extreme accuracy actually help the children improve their communication skills.

If we want our children to grow up to be good intuitive listeners, we need to actively listen to them when they are young and provide the right activities to help them develop this important life skill.

11 Super Fun Listening Activities for Kids

Here are 11 simple listening activities for kids that can be done anywhere, anytime!

1. The Guessing Game

This game is a favorite among kids and it is similar to the game of charades, except with words!

You can either think of something off the top of your head or use a printable to print a list of words to use and pick one out of a hat!

Next, describe the word without actually saying the word. For example:

  • Sun: This is something that comes out every single day and provides light to all of the world
  • Dog: This is an animal that many families keep in their home, they make loud noises, and their families like to take them outside for walks
  • Shoes: These are something that you have to put on before you can go on a walk outside

This activity is a great way to improve your child’s listening skills as they have to be attentive to the details in order to guess the correct word.

2. Finish The Sentence

This is similar to the guessing game, except instead of describing a word completely, you have to start and sentence and let the child finish it. For example:

  • In the morning, my mom says I have to make my ______.
  • Before I leave the house I have to tie my ______.
  • Whenever I am at school, I must listen to my _____.
  • On my hands, I have 10 _____.
  • To keep my head warm in the winter I have to wear a _____.

This game is best played when there is a group of students who can all shout out the answer together. Kids love to shout out answers but in order to get the answer right, they must first use their active listening skills!

listening activities for kids

3. Simon Says

Simon Says is one of the most classic games in the books! Not only is it a great listening activity, but it also helps with gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and so much more!

With this activity, children really have to focus and be attentive in order to follow the commands correctly.

To play, simply stand in front of the kids and say different commands. If you say ”Simon Say” before the command, the children should follow through and act out the command. If you do not say ”Simon Says” before the command, then the children should remain still.

All children love this game, and it is a joy to watch the kids giggle and laugh as they act out the silly commands.

4. Action Songs

Certain songs are created to help children listen and move. Music and dance is a great way to help children improve their listening skills, attentiveness, and responsiveness.

Here are some classic songs that children can listen to and act out the lyrics:

  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Hokey Pokey
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • Shake Your Sillies Out
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

The importance of music on child development shouldn’t be underestimated. Action songs are such a fun, yet effective activity that can be done anywhere!

5. Act Out Books

Much like action songs, some books are designed to get kids moving!

Here are some of our favorite books that kids can listen to and act out:

Reading to children has so many other amazing benefits. It is an activity that I encourage all parents to do with their kids daily.

6. 20 Questions

This is such a fun activity for kids! Not only does it help improve listening skills, but it is also a great cognitive activity to help children develop their critical thinking skills.

To play this activity, think of a person, place, or thing. When kids are really young I like to think of easy objects like apple, house, or car. As children get older, the person, place, or thing you choose can be more complex.

Once you have found your word, encourage the children to ask yes or no questions to try and figure out the answer. They can ask up to 20 questions.

Here is a list of a couple basic questions to help the kids get started if they are new to playing this game:

  • Is it a person?
  • Is it a place?
  • Is it a food?
  • Is it an animal?

These simple questions at the beginning can help children narrow down the categories before the kids start asking more specific questions.

I love this game because children have to use their listening skills to remember their answers to the questions previously asked. Then, they must use their critical thinking skills to either ask a new question or guess the answer!

listening games for kids

7. Telephone

This is another classic game that can be played at the dinner table or at a classroom table! The more people the better but I recommend playing with at least 4 people.

The rules for this game are very simple. Start by having one person think of a word or phrase. Have that person whisper the word or phrase to the person sitting next to them. The listener will then pass the message on to the next person. You will continue doing this until you get to the final player.

The final player should announce the message out loud. The person who started the message will then say whether it is correct or if it has been changed. Many times this is met with many laughs and giggles as the message always seems to be changed!

If you are playing with young children it is best to use simple words and phrases. The older children get, the more complex the phrases can be!

8. Guess The Sound

This is one of the best listening activities for kids because it can be done with basically anything that makes sound!

I really like this game because it teaches children to listen to the little sounds they hear every day.

To play this game encourage your child to close their eyes and use random household props to make various sounds and have your child guess the sound!

Here are some simple sounds you can make every day:

  • Turning on the faucet
  • Flushing the toilet
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Zipping a zipper
  • Turning on a blender

You can also play animal sounds or transportation sounds on YouTube to expose your child to even more fun sounds!

9. Red Light, Green Light

While this might seem like a simple game, it can actually be used in different variations to help your child develop active listening skills.

To play the most basic version, have children move when you call out green light and stop when you call out red light!

To increase the complexity and encourage the development of listening skills, try adding more colors and associate different actions with each color.

For example:

  • Green = run
  • Yellow= walk
  • Blue = jump
  • Purple = skip
  • Red = stop

If you want to get even more creative you can assign each color to a different animal. Children love playing these different variations and it greatly helps to improve their listening, attentiveness, and concentration skills.

10. Instructional Art

Hands-on activities are great ways to help children learn how to follow step-by-step directions.

When doing this activity with younger children, it is best to start simple with one instruction at a time. For example, when drawing a house, provide these directions:

  1. Draw a big square in the middle of your page
  2. Now, draw a big triangle on top of the square
  3. Inside the big square at the bottom draw a rectangle for the door
  4. Now, draw 4 small squares inside the big square to make windows
  5. In the top right corner draw a sun
  6. For the final step, draw 4 clouds in the sky

When providing instructions for older children, try to give multiple instructions at one time to further the development of their listening skills!

11. Questions During Read Aloud

One of the best gifts you can give your child is to read aloud with them every single day!

In order for children to actually follow along with the storyline they must use their active listening skills.

To gain greater benefits from reading, I encourage parents to ask open-ended questions to their kids when reading together. Some questions I like to ask are, ”What do you think is going to happen next?”, ”What did you like best about the book?”, or even ”Why do you think that happened?”.

These are great questions to encourage your child to really listen to the stories and use their higher thinking skills to answer the questions.

These listening activities for kids are a great way to encourage your child to practice their active listening skills. Remember, always set a good example for your children, and show them praise when they listen well!

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