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How to Go on a Sound Hunt with Kids

by Melissa Garrett
March 1, 2024

How to go on a sound hunt! Have fun with this listening and recording activity and see how many sounds you hear and recognize.

Updated April 2024

Do you have a child who loves to make noise? Consider going on a sound hunt! Helping kids learn how to listen with intent (try this with music, too!) and experiment with their own sound making is really engaging for all ages.

Here’s a simple activity to help kids appreciate sound in a new way and encourage them to find interesting sounds out in the world.

You can go on a sound hunt anywhere—in the backyard, out in nature somewhere, or inside on a rainy day. This activity works well if you happen to be at a big gathering with cousins and friends or if you’re having a quiet afternoon at home.

Ready? Let’s go on a Sound Hunt!

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How to Go on a Sound Hunt with Kids

MATERIALS

  • optional: a way to record sound (you can download an app on your phone or use a cassette recorder)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Talk about sound

    I like to begin a sound hunt by asking a few questions:
    You can ask kids what some of their favorite sounds are.
    Ask them to do some quiet listening for a moment and see what they notice.
    And then ask, “What sounds do you think you can find?”

  2. Go on a sound hunt!

    Time to get hunting! We recorded splashing in the creek, stomping on piles of leaves, banging on a log with sticks, climbing a tree, and a whole host of other sounds.

    If you don’t have a recording device, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had in the process of hunting for sounds without doing any recording.

    Stick-drum-recording

  3. Share what you found

    The kids wandered around the house and yard, giggling, banging, riling up our backyard chickens, and finding various sounds and recording them.

    Over-there

    Each time, as they finished recording a few sounds, they would rewind and play back the recording. It’s so fun to have others try to guess what made each sound.

    Playback-listening

  4. Follow up with a sound challenge!

    For the next few days after these sound hunts, whenever my kids seemed restless, I invited them to do a sound challenge. One of them would find and record an interesting sound and the other would have 3 guesses to figure out what it was. They loved it!

Mic-close-up
Photo by Melissa Garrett

No matter how you choose to try this, outside or inside, with or without a recorder, I hope you can encourage your kids to notice the sounds that are all around them. Happy exploring!

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