A Lesson In Listening

Getting children to listen and follow directions can be challenging. Too often I find myself having to repeat directions, and provide constant monitoring to make sure directions are carried out.

Recently, I was delighted to find an art project that held the hope of a listening lesson. What I expected to be a short lesson involving coloring, turned into a morning long event in heart lessons.

Using Art With A Purpose , I directed the littles to listen carefully to the instructions I read. Although I expected Little Bear to need some extra assistance with the project, I did not expect the boys to have any problems. I was mistaken.IMG_7166 (2)

As I read the first direction for coloring a portion of the picture, each of the boys requested I show them what to do. I refused and reread the direction. As we continued, it was clear that everyone was doing things differently. Soon my success driven child was in tears believing the project was failed, followed by anger and insistence on a new sheet.

Although I did not provide any new sheets, we did stop to talk about the importance of listening carefully, not copying another’s understanding of the direction, and not jumping ahead because of assuming how the project should look. In the end, each did a fair job of making their final pictures a close resemblance of where the directions should have led them.IMG_7163 (2)

Once our “art project” was complete, we looked up scripture.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

Learning to listen carefully and follow directions are life skills that are important to develop. Games are a great way to practice and have fun. Games for any age can be follow the leader, red light green light, or Simon says.

Other activities to practice listening skills can be as simple as using coloring sheets and give direction on what color to make each area. Challenge older kids by having them draw a picture from verbal directions. For example: draw a straight line from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. In the middle of the page, draw a circle one inch in diameter, and so on.

I’m always watching for fun new games to engage the littles, and found some ideas on Pinterest for games to teach kids to listen.

We are some of your favorite games or activities to develop your kids’ listening and direction following skills?

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