This activity explains how you can help your ittle one to develop their attention and listening skills through playing ‘musical statues’.

What will this activity help with?

Core areas: Speech (early listening skills) + Attention and Listening

Age: 2-8 years

  • Musical statues can be played by children of a variety of ages. Children as young as 2 can be supported to play and children aged 8 and above can still have fun playing this game!
  • Musical statues is a great way of supporting early listening skills. Listening skills are a vital part of early speech sound development. Children need to be able to listen to and identify the noises and sounds around them before they develop the skills to listen to and identify speech sounds. 
  • Working on listening skills can be very fun!

How to play

You will need the following:

  • A space big enough for you all to dance in.
  • Music that you can easily pause and restart again.

How to play: 

Most people will have played Musical Statues before but here’s a quick reminder of how to play:

  • Set up an area which has enough space for you all to dance in. 
  • Choose an adult or an older child to be in charge of the music, they will also need to decide who is ‘out’.
  • Explain to the children that you are going to play some music and they need to dance to it. 
  • Explain that they need to listen very carefully and when they hear the music stop they need to stop dancing and stand very still – like a statue. When they hear the music play, they can start dancing again!
  • If they move when the music has stopped, they will be out!

Take it further:

If you enjoy this game, why not try other musical party games such as:

  • Musical bumps – When the music stops, the children have to sit down as fast as they can. The last person to sit down is out!
  • Musical chairs/cushions – When the music stops, the children have to find a chair or cushion to sit on. Remember to have one less chair or cushion than the number of people playing. Whoever doesn’t find a chair or cushion to sit on is out! Remember to take a chair or cushion away at each turn until there are only 2 people playing and 1 place to sit. 

Top tips

  • Present this as a party game. Children will not know they are ‘working’ and will be really keen to join in. You could even have a prize for the winner!​
  • Complete it as a family if possible with the adults joining in. This helps the child understand what they need to do and makes the game more fun!​
  • Switch off any background noise such as the TV or radio to help the child/children really listen to the music in the game.​
  • Try to reduce visual distractions such as the TV or other toys in the area to support attention and listening.