Easy Ways to Develop Listening Skills for All Students

Kids Playing Games to Develop Listening Skills

Can you guess what the very best way to help students understand and learn, especially students with ADHD?

After reading many research articles, I found that the best way to help students learn listening skills is by playing games!


Kids with arms raised

Yes games! Here is why. 

Executive function skills are one of the most difficult things for students to do, especially in kindergarten. Executive function skills include being prepared to learn, having materials, paying attention, inhibitory control, knowing what to do first and then second. 

What are the 3 most important beginning auditory function skills students need?

  • Memory 

  • Inhibitory Control or Self-Regulation

  • Attention 

Memory is knowing what to do and remembering it. When they hear a specific set of directions, they can remember what to do. In order to play a game, they have to remember how to play. 

Inhibitory control or self-regulation is when they have to stop and think before they do something. In order to play a game they have to wait their turn before playing. 

You can practice by playing this fun, easy game.

Attention is being able to focus and block out the distraction around them. All students, especially those with ADHD have a hard time blocking out other things that they are hearing. While playing games they have to pay attention to the game and block out what is going on around them. 


Remember any topic can be turned into a game/activity. 

I really like to play Memory with my students. All you need is two sets of matching cards with whatever topic you want to focus on. 

Kids playing memeory game to develop listening skills
Rhyming Memory Game

Another game is to take a card (sight words, letters, numerals) and put it in a box, have the student randomly pick out a card, then they have to say what is on the card.

My students live doing this with our “Sight Word Crash Game!”

child getting crash from a game
Sight Word Game

The old basic “Heads up Seven up” is a perfect game to help develop these skills.

How you may ask? All the steps and rules they have to follow while playing.

  1. They have to pay attention to what students have their thumb up. (attention)
  2. They can’t make noise. (inhibitory control)
  3. They have to watch how they are walking. (inhibitory control)
  4. Once they are all back up at the front of the room, they have to stand still. (inhibitory control)
  5. They have to remember who they picked. (memory)
  6. They have to shake their heads yes or no not say yes or no. (attention, inhibitory control)
  7. They have to focus their attention on the person who is talking (attention), not the person who they picked. (inhibitory control) 

Remember any game will work to develop these skills! You can check out ALL MY GAMES for ideas! It works like magic!


💖 Debora~TeachMagically

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Debora Marines

    What are your favorite games?

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