5 active listening activities for youth
The current blogpost will be based on the question “what are the active listening activities for youth?”. We will enlist the various activities that can be used with the youth for the promotion of active listening. We will also discuss each active listening activity in detail in order to understand its effectiveness.
What are active listening activities for youth?
Active listening activities for youth are based on various techniques and strategies that can be used by parents or teachers working with the youth. Through active listening activities the youth learns to be patient while attending to the other people through the intentional and active process of listening. Active listening also makes it easy for the youth to learn the importance of effective communication and the role of active listening in carrying out functional and effective communication.
In order to teach the youth active listening the caregivers can engage them in a variety of games and activities. These activities are not only based on verbal communication skills but also on the non verbal communication skills.
Since youth age is an age that is centered around impulsivity, energy and indecisiveness, it is imperative to train the youth for active listening so that they learn attending skills and listening competencies that will enable them to practice active listening in life spheres.
By practicing and learning active listening through various activities, we can encourage our youth to be :
- More patient
- An active listener
- Non Judgemental
There are many different activities that can be used with youth for practicing active listening. A few of those activities are as follows :
- Sports games
- Telephone games
- Trust games
- Circle of friends
- Simon says
- Chinese whispers
- standup/sit down
- Blindfold obstacle course
The interview activity is a proven technique for active listening among the youth. Conducting mock interviews enables the youth to learn and practice active listening. For this activity, the youth are divided into pairs. One of the pair members becomes an employee and the other one becomes an employer. Both the members take turns. The interview activity is supervised by the parent or caregiver. They help the youth participating in the activity to communicate verbally and non verbally through active listening.
Sports games are activities that are based on indoor or outdoor games to promote active listening among the youth. Sports games build sportsman spirit in the youth and also enable them to communicate and listen to each other as together they need to struggle to reach a specific goal. Tell the teens to cooperate with each other in order to win the game. A slight twist in sports games for active listening could be using a beach ball instead of a soccer ball and telling them to follow all the rules of soccer but play with the beach ball.
The players in sports can be divided into teams so that they plan and strategize to follow and reach the goal.
Telephone games are a great activity to help the youth learn active listening skills. While talking to each other in pairs over the telephone, the youth participants are unable to see each other. Yet they need to practice active listening and get involved in the communication process over the telephone.
This activity is important as it enables the youth to gather the idea that it’s not always necessary to be physically present for active listening. Being on telephone, intentionally being involved in the communication process is necessary so that the person communicating on the phone feels attended and heard.
The game for active listening is played with the youth inorder to help them practice active listening. Change activity is done with a group of youth members. The facilitator first reads a dialogue or a story to the participants and then rereads the same with slight intentional amendments in order to check their involvement and active listening skills.
Each youth member individually marks on a paper the amendments that he picks out in the dialogue that was changed by the facilitator.
The trust games are necessary for the youth to develop trust among them and build rapport with each other. The youth members all stand in the form of groups of 4 or 5. One of the members of the group stands on a chair and faces backwards. The rest of the group members stand around the chair. The member standing on the chair tends to fall backwards with closed eyes while communicating with the other members who are ready to catch her.
In this activity, the members are not able to see eachother but they actively communicate with each other to successfully achieve the goal.
Circle of friends
In this activity of promoting active listening all the members of the activity sit in a group. The group members start the activity by the first youth member saying a positive thing about the youth member sitting next to him.
The activity continues till the last member is done sharing a positive aspect about the first member who started the activity.
The simon says activity is conducted to promote active listening among the youth. One of the youth members takes the charge and starts by speaking words like “simon says raise your left hand”, “simon says stand up”. The group members need to follow all the instructions that start with what Simon says. However when the instructor says words that do not start with “simon says” the group members don’t need to follow.
Through this activity, the youth practices, learns and follows the active listening skills as they filter out all the instructions that do not begin with “simon says”.
The activity of Chinese whispers is conducted with youth to help them learn about the value of clarity, unambiguity, attentive listening and active communication in active listening. In this activity for practicing active listening, all the youth members sit in a circle, the facilitator speaks a phrase in the ears of one of the members. That member repeats the same words into the ear of the other member and the chain continues. If the words remain the same as spoken by the facilitator in the ear’s of the first youth member, that means all the participants were actively involved in the listening process.
The stand up and sit down game is used to promote and practice activities of active listening. The facilitator divides the youth group into two subgroups. One group follows stand up command as it is whereas the other group does the opposite of standup. When the instructor says standup to one group they stand up as directed whereas the other group does the opposite of the command and sits down when instructed to stand up.
Blindfold obstacle course
The activity of blindfold obstacle course for the youth is conducted to promote active listening skills among the youth. This activity is conducted in the settings of pairs. One member from each pair is blindfolded whereas the other member gives instructions that the blind folded youth member has to follow in order to reach the target.
The current blogpost was based on the question ““what are the active listening activities for youth?”. We enlisted the various activities that can be used for the advocacy of active listening among the youth. We also discussed each of the activities in detail in order to understand their significance related to active listening.
Frequently asked questions : active listening activities for youth
What activities promote active listening for students?
Following activities promote active listening for the students ::
- Reading different stories
- Cooking with your child
- Have conversations about things your child is interested in life
- Play the telephone game with children in home or school settings
- Create a list of questions with your child for him or her to ask you or a sibling
- Play the “spot the change” game with your child or student
What are 5 active listening strategies?
Following are the 5 active listening strategies :
- Pay undivided attention
- Show that you’re listening by your body language
- Provide constructive feedback
- Defer judgment and biasness
- Respond appropriately
Following are the four examples of active listening :
- Verbal and nonverbal feedback to show signs of listening (e.g., smiling, eye contact, leaning in, mirroring)
- Asking questions
- Reflecting back what is said
- Asking for clarification
How can teens teach active listening skills?
Teens can be taught active listening skills through :
- Getting close to your child when the child speaks
- Use eye contact to respond appropriately
- Use non verbal language to show you are listening
- Listen being non judgmental
How do you use active listening skills?
We can use active listening by following the below steps :
- Limit being distracted
- Avoid jumping to conclusions
- Interrupt less
- Maintain silence
- Encourage the speaker
- Listen with your whole body