Aim of the game:
Listening skills underpin language learning and are particularly important for helping children to learn sounds for speech. Learning to listen for and discriminate between different sounds is fundamental to hearing the subtle differences between speech sounds. This Listening Walk is a fun way of nurturing and fine tuning those skills whilst getting out and about in nature.
What you will need:
A note pad and pen or white board with dry wipe marker
How to play:
- Tell your child you’re going to go on a listening walk, dress appropriately and head outside.
- When you’re outside, explain that you’re going to listen to see how many different noises you can hear. You can give examples of this if you wish, such as cars, trains, birds, aeroplane in the sky, leaves rustling, the wind, children etc.
- If your child needs a prompt you can start off by saying “I can hear…..”
- Note down all of the different sounds you hear.
- When you get home, see if your child can remember all of the sounds they heard, check them off your list as you go and then count them together at the end.
- If your child needs help remembering, see if you can help prompt their memory by giving them clues (e.g. “it’s got 4 wheels and we heard it by the park”). Giving your child to opportunity to recall from memory will make for stronger learning.
- See if you can mimic or recreate any or all of the sounds you heard on your listening walk – can your child make the noise of birds or leaves rustling?
How to extend:
- You can do this anywhere and don’t necessarily have to be walking to do so. It’s great to play this game at the seaside whilst sat on the beach as there are so many different sounds you can hear. Or, have a picnic in the park or woods and see what sounds you can hear whilst snacking – there will be lots of interesting foodie noises!
- Draw some line drawings of things you might hear on your white board and if your child hears them they can cross them off.
- Make this into a sound lotto game by creating boards with velcro and pictures (of different sounds) to stick on them. Every time your child hears one of the sounds they can stick it on their board. We’ve got a selection of Listening Walk Boards available to download in our Therapy Centre.
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