Cover for blog post Language and Listening Games

12 Gift Ideas for Children to Build Language and Listening Skills

Does your child or a child you love struggle with language or auditory processing skills? Our language skills are important to express what we feel, what we would like to happen, and to describe situations.  They involve understanding the meaning of words, how they are associated with each other and how to put them together to form questions and sentences.  We use our auditory processing skills to follow directions and learn new information when it is provided orally.  This is critical to learning in all areas of life.  There are some fun ways to improve these skills without a child realizing that she is “working”.  Below are some fun games and activities that would make great birthday, Christmas, or any time gifts!

Check out these gift ideas for the children in your life that need to strengthen their language and listening skills.

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Expressive Language Games

Headbandz: In this game of up to 6 players, you place a picture on your head without looking at it and then ask yes/no questions to the other players to help you guess the picture.  Children will learn to organize their questions from large category questions (e.g., Is it alive?, Is it an animal?) to small detail questions (Does it have wheels?).  They will also learn to think about words in terms of function and characteristics.  Suggested for ages 7 and up.

Spin Master Games Hedbanz, Quick Question Picture Guessing Family Game for Game Night Headbands Board Game, for Adults and Kids Ages 7 and up (Edition May Vary)
  • FUN FAMILY GUESSING GAME: Hedbanz is the fast-paced, easy to play question game of “What am I?” Ask “yes” or “no” questions before time runs out to figure out if the cartoon card on your headband is an animal, food or object. Earn 3 scoring badges to win!
  • KID-FRIENDLY BOARD GAME: The Hedbanz categories are simple (animal, food or object), allowing everyone, even young children to join in on the family fun! Racing against the timer, each round moves quickly, ramping up your energy and challenging your wit!
  • EDUCATIONAL PLAY FOR KIDS: Playing Hedbanz, kids will develop their deductive reasoning skills with the game’s simple question and answer method. Coming up with questions that will lead to answers, kids will also practice their critical thinking skills!
  • ENHANCE YOUR GAME WITH THE APP: Download the free app. Capture the player with wacky face filters and turn your friends/family into a dog, cake, beaver, etc! Share with family and friends!
  • ENTERTAINMENT FOR EVERYONE: When you are with friends, bring a Spin Master game, toy, or cards. For family game nights, birthdays, parties, travel, holiday gifts, and whenever you just want to have fun.

Guess Who?: This two player game works on similar skills as Headbandz.  Players ask questions to determine their opponent’s mystery person.  They will learn they are most successful if they start with big category questions (e.g., “Is it a girl?”) and then work toward detail questions (e.g., “Does your person have red hair?”).  Suggested for ages 6 and up.

Guess Who? Original Guessing Game for Kids Ages 6 and Up for 2 Players
  • THE ORIGINAL GUESSING GAME: This edition of the Guess Who? game features classic tabletop boards, 24 Mystery cards and 48 Face cards
  • INTERACTIVE GAME FOR KIDS: Kids can have loads of fun as they use yes or no question to guess each other's mystery character
  • CLASSIC GUESS WHO? GAMEPLAY: Remember playing the Guess Who? game when you were a kid? This guessing game features classic gameplay with updated characters from the previous edition
  • UPDATED ART: This edition of the Guess Who? game features updated characters and character art not seen in previous versions

Apples to Apples Jr.: This game helps build vocabulary and associations between words.  Players have vocabulary cards in their hands such as monkeys or flip-flops.  A card is then presented with an adjective on it such as crunchy or awesome and the players have to decide which card in their hand best matches that adjective.  The judge then determines the best match.  Players may want to explain to the judge why they picked the word that they did, which is a great way to work on communication skills.  Everyone gets a chance to be the judge.  Suggested for ages 9 and up.

Mattel Games Apples to Apples Junior Kids Game, Card Game for Family Night with Kid-Friendly Words to Make Crazy Combinations
  • The Apples to Apples Junior family party game is made especially for kids 9 years and older. It's the hilarious Apples to Apples party game designed for younger members of the family.
  • Players will delight in the crazy comparisons while expanding their vocabulary and thinking skills. It's as easy as comparing 'apples to apples!'
  • Each round, one player takes on the role of judge and plays a descriptive Green Apple card, like 'Sticky.' The other players choose their best match from the Red Apple cards in their hand, like 'Frog Tongue.'
  • Players should try to convince the judge that their card is the best choice and can get really creative with their reasons! 'Table talk' is one of the most important -- and hilarious -- parts of the game!
  • The judge decides the winner and awards that player the Green Apple card. The first player to collect 4 Green Apple cards wins.

Buzzword Jr.: Players have to guess words based on clues.  All of the answers in each round include the same ‘buzzword.’  For example, the buzzword for the round may be ‘see’ and if one of the clues is teeter-totter, the answer would be see-saw.  Suggested for ages 7 and up.

Buzzword Junior
  • CLASSIC FUN—The classic Buzzword game that’s perfect for the whole family.
  • FAMILY-FRIENDLY—Designed with younger players in mind, Buzzword Junior is perfect for family game night!
  • WORDY GAME—Test your vocab trying to come up with the correct answers to the buzzword clues!
  • TIME FLIES—See how quickly you can come up with the correct phrases before time runs out!
  • TEAM PLAYER—Play head-to-head to see which team will come out victorious!

Blurt:  This game is great for working on vocabulary.  A definition is read and players ‘blurt’ out the answer.  It includes instructions to simplify the game for younger players.  Suggested ages: 7 and up.

Educational Insights Blurt! The Think-Fast, Shout-It Party Game - Board Games for Adult and Kids Ages 7+, Perfect for Kids and Family Game Night
  • SPARK TOGETHERNESS! Let’s play – together! Educational Insights toys and games are designed to make the most of together time, helping kids learn to build positive relationships, work together, compromise and share, win and lose gracefully, and so much more.
  • THE UPROARIOUS WORD RACE GAME! Be the first player or team to move your game piece around the path and back to the start space. Players or teams earn the right to move their game piece by being the first to blurt out a word after hearing its definition or “clue.”
  • HOW TO PLAY: Listen to a definition and race to respond! The first player to "Blurt" correctly moves ahead on the game board. Make it around first and you win
  • EXAMPLE: What word means "a partially dried grape"? Be the first to shout "raisin" and you're on your way to winning this riotous game of rapid word recall
  • BUILD VOCABULARY: Brain-boosting Blurt helps develop auditory comprehension, word recall, and vocabulary! Perfect for family game night—includes rules for junior version. Game includes 200 cards (1200 clues!), 6 game pieces, game board, die, and guide

In a Pickle:  In this game, players need to understand meanings of words and then compare items by size.  They win sets of cards by fitting smaller items into larger items, such as juice can fit into a pickle, which can fit into a supermarket, but a sofa can not fit into a shopping cart.  This game is for older kids and is suggested for 10 and up.


Games for Listening

Animal Soundtracks: This is a fun game for children who just need to practice attending and listening to basic information. Players listen to every day sounds on CD and then cover the corresponding picture on their board.  Suggested for ages 3 and up.

Galt Toys, Soundtracks - Animal
  • Listen, match, win! The Animals Soundtracks game from Galt is a clever matching game your little ones will love
  • Players have to match the everyday sounds to vibrant photographs on their game board
  • Includes 1 CD, 4 game boards with 36 sounds, 40 counters and a play-guide
  • A fun variation of the original award-winning Soundtracks game
  • For 1-4 players, aged 4 to 8 years

Twister: Players have to listen to directions that involve a body part, a color and left/right.  Targeting left/right is what makes this game so great!  And it gets the kids moving.  Suggested for ages 5 and up.

Classic Twister with Retro Design and Oversized Spinner by Winning Moves Games USA, Party Game for 2 or More Players, Indoor and Outdoor Fun for Kids Ages 6+
  • TYING PLAYERS UP IN KNOTS FOR GENERATIONS: Who doesn’t remember playing Twister as a kid? The Twister game is for adults and kids age 6 and up. Families can join in the fun together!
  • WHO’S GOT THE MOVES: Classic Twister gameplay challenges players to place their hands and feet on the correct spots without falling!
  • SPINNER, SPINNER, SPINNER!: Left foot blue, right foot yellow, keep it up if you can!
  • FUN PARTY GAME TO PLAY IN TEAMS: This group game includes instructions to play in teams, and in round robin tournament style!
  • INDOOR ACTIVITY FOR KIDS: Stuck inside? The Classic Twister game is an action-packed way for kids, tweens, and teens to "get their energy out."

Battleship: The goal of battleship is to sink the opponent’s ships. Players need to listen to letter-number combinations to be able to do this.  Suggested for ages 7 and up.

BATTLESHIP Hasbro Gaming: Battleship Classic Board Game Strategy Game Ages 7 and Up For 2 Players
  • CLASSIC BATTLESHIP GAME: Kids ages 7 and up can enjoy playing this classic game of naval combat
  • INCLUDES 2 PORTABLE BATTLE CASES: This Battleship board game is easy to store and take on the go
  • HEAD-TO-HEAD COMBAT: In this classic Battleship game for 2 players, sink an opponent's ships for the win
  • OPTION FOR ADVANCED PLAY: The Battleship board game comes with a Salvo feature that lets advanced players launch multiple attacks

Read My List: This game works on many skills: listening, memory, language organization…players listen to a list of words and then gain points by naming 3 more items that would fit in the list and/or naming the category that the words belong to.  This is a good game to keep in the car and use when you get stuck waiting somewhere.  Suggested for ages 8 and up.

Educational Insights Read My List! Game, Think-Quick Game of Categories and Lists, Ages 8 and Up
  • Listen to a list and remember what you heard in this think-quick game of categories and lists!
  • Score points by racing to name things that fit in a category; guessing the correct category; or in a fast-paced, all-play lightning round!
  • Features 2 levels of play—easy and hard—so everyone can join in the fun! For 3 or more players.
  • Includes 200 double-sided cards, game guide, and storage box.

Picture books with accompanying CDs: Picture books that come with CDs for the child to listen to while looking at the pictures and turning the pages at the beep is an awesome way to strengthen listening skills.  Honestly, I get them from the library, but if you are looking for a gift, who doesn’t love Curious George?

Curious George Feeds the Animals Book & CD (Read Along Book & CD)
  • Rey, H. A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages - 08/01/2005 (Publication Date) - Clarion Books (Publisher)

Audible: We love books on CD in the car and they are also great for strengthening a child’s listening skills.  So why not buy your child a membership to Audible?  And I guarantee that you will never have to clean this gift up because your child left it out!


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