This is a wonderful exercise to promote listening skills and to teach about the sense of hearing. This game can be played in any season, but summertime offers great opportunities to explore fun peaceful or noisy locations!
- Markers or crayons
- Discuss all the places you and your child like to go outdoors in the summer time. Which one is your favorite? Which one is your child's? Is it under a tree in your yard? In your hammock? Is it at the public pool? Is it in the woods? Is it on a porch swing? Is it at the beach? On top of a mountain? On top of a Ferris wheel? In your garden?
- Decide which place you would like to go first. As you travel there, discuss what sounds you might hear there. This is a good opportunity to talk about all five senses. Why is the sense of hearing important?
- When you have reached your destination, find a comfortable place to sit down with your child. Spread out a towel or blanket or pillows or whatever you need to be cozy!
- Close your eyes and tell your child to do the same. Spend a full minute or two (more or less depending on the age of the child) just listening. What do you hear?
- Open your eyes. Take a piece of paper and pen and write down all the different sounds you and your child heard. Take turns telling a sound. Allow your child to go first. You can be specific. For example: "I heard the splash of water against a rock." Or, you can be more general: "I heard a rubbing noise." Are there sounds you heard that your child did not hear or vice versa?
- Encourage your child to illustrate all the different sounds with crayons and markers on paper, or cut and paste pictures from magazines representing the sounds you both heard.
- Make a plan to do this at another location or at a different time of day. Where is it noisier? At the beach? In your yard? When? Daytime or nighttime? Encourage these comparisons.