Waiting for anything can be boring and frustrating, for adults and children alike. But these pockets of time can be an invaluable opportunity to have fun, get creative, and connect with one another. One way to do this is to play a game that relies on the sounds all around us.
Trigger warning: During this activity, children are asked to close their eyes. This may be potentially upsetting for some children. Please adapt as necessary to best meet the needs of your child. For example, instead of closing his or her eyes, your child could focus on a favorite stuffed animal or blanket nearby.
Wherever you are, ask your child (or children) to silently close their eyes. Next, ask them to listen for sounds. When they can identify three specific sounds, ask them to tell you without making a sound! If you’re at a restaurant, they can silently put their hand flat on the table. If you’re standing in line somewhere, they can give a thumbs-up. The goal is to communicate that they’ve heard three different sounds they recognize without making any noise themselves.
Next, tell your child (or children) to open their eyes and share what those three sounds were. Depending upon where you are, these may include the sound of shoes on the floor, silverware on plates, people talking, packages being opened, etc. As your child becomes better at the game, make it more challenging by increasing the number of specific sounds needed.
Afterward, point out how much your child was able to learn about their surroundings just by hearing alone. Share that God hears them, too. Explain that God loves us so much, that He sent Jesus, His only Son, down to earth to help us. And — because of Jesus — we can have a personal relationship with God. This means we can share anything with Him — our sadness, our fears, our worries — and we can know He will always be listening and will hear us.
After completing this activity, read through the following verse and prayer with your child.
The Lord hears His people when they call to Him … .
Psalm 34:17 (NLT)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Life can be so loud around and inside of us. Help us to calm and hush our thoughts, so that we can better hear You. Thank You for always listening — even when we don’t know what to say.
In Jesus’ name, amen.