Attention & Listening: Wandering Whispers


The most important thing to be paying attention to right now is not always the most obvious thing in your surroundings. Even when people are speaking very quietly and there may be other distractions around, children must learn to focus on the key message.

Playing with whispering is a wonderful way to help children practise focussing intently on what is being said – who doesn’t love a good secret?

Wandering Whispers

Spread one set of the cards around the room.

Put the other set in a lucky dip box or bin.

Draw out a card and, ask your child to go around the room looking at all of the cards you have laid out, then when they have looked at them all, whisper the instruction for them to find your matching card (e.g. “Find the girl who is riding a black horse”).

They have to find it as quickly as possible, and if there is more than one child playing it can be a race.

Your child is allowed to ask for repetition or ask clarifying questions.


  1. Distribute the cards further afield so your child is further away when you give the instructions.
  2. If your child can read, use cards with words on them rather than pictures.
  3. Shorten the whispered instruction so there are fewer cues (e.g. “horse”).
  4. Ask them to collect 2 or 3 cards at a time.

Also Works On: Working Memory, Comprehension, Visual Perception, Visual Movements


Activity Materials


You Will Need...

  •  2 sets of playing cards or a memory card game so that you have pairs of cards to use – for this game, cards with different pictures on them are ideal.