Quick Play Idea: Do 3 Things Listening Game

This quick play idea is great for working on listening skills and practicing following multi-step directions. It’s great for when you’re waiting in line or need a quick game to occupy your time. It requires no materials – just use whatever is around you. You can even sneak in a little clean up time. Try out our Do 3 Things listening game, and let me know what you think!

Quick Play Idea: Do 3 Things - A Listening Game for Kids

Do 3 Things: A Listening Game for Kids

The Backstory

My son {age 3.5} does not like to clean up. He doesn’t care about the consequences:

Me: If you don’t pick up your Legos, I’m going to put them in the closet and you won’t be able to play with them for awhile.
Aiden: That’s okay, Mama. You can clean them up and I won’t play with them for a while.

Me: Pick up your toys and then you can watch a show.
Aiden: I don’t want to watch a show.

Now everyday is not like this. Some days he chooses to clean up just fine. It’s just always on his terms. I have to find sneaky ways to get him to clean up. I have to make clean up a game. I’ve used a cardboard tube to encourage cleaning up. Aiden places the toys in the tube and watches them land in the bin. {See more about what you can learn from a cardboard tube.}

Make clean up a game.

My second sneaky way to get Aiden to clean up is by making clean up a race. Ready. Set. Go pick up that toy and bring it over to this bin. Run fast. Hurry.

I’ve also turned clean up into a scavenger hunt. Let’s play a game. Okay. Do you want to go on a scavenger hunt for train tracks? Yeah!!! Okay. Go find 3 straight tracks and bring them to this box. Aiden runs and finds them. Great, now find 2 curved tracks. {Yes, I throw a little counting practice in there, too.}

The idea for the listening game started when I wanted my son to pick up his crayons. I knew I had to make it fun and thus was born this game.

How to Play

Tell your child 3 things to do. For example, I told Aiden: Let’s play a game called Do 3 Things. I’m going to tell you three things to do. Then, you are going to do them. Ready? One. Touch your nose. Two. Pick up two crayons. Three. Jump up and down. Ready, set, go!

Aiden held up one finger and said, “One.” Then, he touched his nose. He held up two fingers and said, “Two.” He picked up two crayons. Next, he help up three fingers and said, “Three.” Last, he jumped up and down.

Quick Play Idea: Do 3 Things - A Listening Game for Kids

He was so excited about his game. We continued playing until well after all of the crayons were picked up. {I didn’t have him pick up crayons every round.} We played for so long, I was having a hard time coming up with new things for him to do, so he helped me. Sometimes he repeated actions he had already done and other times he thought of new things.

Sometimes Aiden needed help remembering what was next. He would get so excited about the game, he forgot the list.

I’m keeping this game in mind the next time we need to kill some time – I think it would make a great wait time game.

More Quick Play Ideas

Do you subscribe to the Inspiration Laboratories weekly newsletter? Each issue has exclusive hands-on science explorations for children, a recap of our latest activities, and special resources selected just for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *