Listening Activities 

Do you need some interesting listening activities for your classroom?

Here are some top teaching ideas for listening games and activities you can use.

Chinese Whispers

listening activities for kids - chinese whispers

Many listening activities are age specific but kids of any age can play this game.

Good for that 'end of the day' activity when you want that 10 minutes peace before they go home! It's also a lot of fun as they realise the word or phrase is changing all the time!

You need no equipment at all . Just get the kids to sit in a circle, close enough to each other to enable them to turn and whisper to the child next to them.

Then you start them off. Whisper a word or phrase to the 1st child, something like 'silly sausages ' and ask them to pass it on to the next child. He or she then does the same until you have been all round the circle

The last child then announces what they heard and you can guarantee that it was nothing at all like the one you started with.

Choose a tongue twister or phrase with same initial letters to get a great outcome!

Build a Model. One of the listening activities to test their ability to follow instructions.

Listening Activities that teach kids to follow instructions are an essential part of their learning process. The following task encourages them to listen to a partner, who will direct them how to build a model which is identical to their own without being able to see what they are doing.   

You will need:

  • a screen: such as an upturned book or a small display board placed between the children so they cannot see each other. If you think it more appropriate for younger children, you can be the builder. 
  • a selection of building bricks ,divided into 2 piles with identical bricks in each pile. For very young children I selected only 5 or 6 bricks and made sure each one was a different colour. With older kids you can select more bricks and encourage them to name the shape as well as the colour.

Ask the child doing the building to take a brick and describe it to their partner for example'Take the red brick and put it on the table.

Next take the blue brick and put it on top of the red brick.

Then take the yellow brick and put it next to the blue brick.

Lastly take the green brick and put it in front of the red brick.

When all the bricks are used up, take away the screen and see if the 2 models look alike!

This is one of the listening activities that you can use to teach positional language, encouraging the children to use phrases such as: in front of , behind, on top of, underneath or next to.

You can vary this activity by doing a drawing rather than making a model.The following task is a more suitable one for the preschool kids with a specific emphasis on colour and shape.


Listening Activities for Kids - Twin game

You will need several copies of an outline of a body shape with a head, a body, arms and legs   Each pair of kids will have their own copy.

Then as in the previous activity you place a screen between the 2 children so they don't see what the other one is drawing.

The outcome is the same too. Both drawings must end up looking identical.

And once again, you can be the one who is the leader and gives the instructions at least until the kids are confident with the task.

The leader instructs the follower to draw something on their outline such as 2  blue eyes.

Then perhaps a red nose and then a sad mouth.

You can dress the person with clothes. Put shoes or hats on them and certainly some hair. Curly or straight, brown or blonde? You decide.

Then finally you take their screen down and let them see for themselves whether or not they have listened carefully enough to the instructions. 

You might like to use this piece of work to stick in their journals. Some listening activities can be useful to keep as assessment material.

Music Moods

Listening activities should always be pleasurable activities. 

The following activity can be used in a PSE lesson to help the kids express their feelings. All you need to provide is a piece of equipment to play a variety of types of music on such as a cd player or i pod.

Then the children sit quietly and listen to a track. 

Ask them to show on their faces how the music makes them feel. 

Afterwards you could discuss with them why the music made them feel like it did.

Was it loud or soft, was it angry or peaceful? All these words help increase their vocabulary.

Then you could ask them to draw a picture using the colours they associated with the mood of the music.

The younger the kids the easier it is for them to express their thoughts abstractly onto paper. They don't  think about it as much as older kids and don't worry about being wrong. 

Have a go with your class and see what they come up with!

Listening Activities for Kids - music moods

Draw a Picture

I like this listening activity because you get such a variety of different outcomes as the kids interpret your instructions in different ways. You can make it as simple or complicated as you want and add as much or as little to your picture as you see fit. It's good practice for their colour recognition too.

I do this with a small group of kids. They will need

  • a selection of coloured pencils with more than one colour of each
  • a piece of white paper.
  • a pencil [ if you want them to draw before they colour in ]

I then tell them we re all going to draw a funny picture .They will have to listen carefully to what I ask them to put on their picture. And I start by saying for example:

Draw me a big blue boat.

Now put a little pink pig on your boat.

Now give the little pink pig a red hat.

The big blue boat is sailing on the a funny coloured sea Can you draw the sea a funny colour?

The little pink pig has a friend. Can you draw the pig's friend?

Up in the sky are 3 jam tarts. Can you draw the jam tarts?

You can continue as long as the concentration lasts then compare the pictures they have drawn.

Use a face or animal or a figure to add things to. You can tailor it to your theme.

Might be another piece for the journal!

I hope you enjoyed trying these listening activities with your kids. Listening can be fun!

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