This activity is great for increasing attention and listening ability. This activity supports children in heightening their awareness of their environment, paying attention to details and auditory discrimination (which is the ability to pay attention to one sound and to tune out all the rest). Furthermore, with this activity, you are teaching mindfulness which means you are pulling your attention into the moment to focus on the present. This is an essential ability that enhances one’s relaxation response.
Magnified hearing can be done in the backyard, while on a hike, or playing in the park. The central necessary ingredient is being in a space where there are abundant nature sounds.
- Pretend that you are going to use your ears to listen like you would use a magnifying glass to see. You are going to pretend that your ears have giant listening ability.
- Use a stopwatch to collect your sound specimens. Explain that for twenty seconds you are going to pay attention to one sound that you hear. It can be a tree, wind, bird, grass, animal, water, etc. . . sound. See what you hear, but only collect one sound specimen at a time. Only listen for one sound.
- Collect the specimen for twenty seconds and then share with others what sound you collected. Pause after each specimen is shared to allow everyone in the group to focus on that sound.
- Repeat until many sounds are collected