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10 Easy Listening Activities Kids Need to Help Self-Regulation


Are you looking for fun and engaging ways to help preschoolers develop better self-regulation? Self-regulation is an important life skill that helps children manage their emotions, impulse control, and behavior. Listening activities are a great way to teach these skills creatively and interactively.

Preschool listening games are fun addition to any classroom or homeschool! This blog post will outline ten easy listening activities that kids need to help self-regulation. Read on for lots of varied listening ideas for preschoolers on making learning about emotional awareness playful and enjoyable!

“Do you hear that sound? Be still.” I began the listening activities for preschoolers.

The children immediately calmed their bodies and nodded their heads in excitement.

Listening activities are by far the most popular activities in a child’s learning environment, indoors or outdoors. I encourage you to give a sound activity a go. You won’t regret it.

Why a Listening Activity is Good for a Child

I learned about listening activities during my Montessori music and sensorial training. I had a day of learning the Montessori music curriculum. What I adore about this content is how the Montessori community honors music as a means of learning by moving, listening and singing.

Children learn self-regulation, gross motor, pre-math, grace & courtesy, and focus. I was especially taken aback by the listening activities for this executive functioning and emotional regulation learning.

A young boy sitting on the beach

In today’s world, with so many visuals flying around us, not just our kids, none of us listen much anymore. Remaining present and active listening is something I struggle with daily.

Stopping to listen helps ground me. For our kids, listening games will undoubtedly have the same benefits, some, not the least of which positively impact brain development.

What is Active Listening?

Active listening is essential for everyone to understand, and it’s never too early to start working on this skill. Active listening is listening intently to someone else’s words and ideas and engaging in conversation with questions, clarification, or responses that let the other person know they’ve been heard.

This skill can be taught to children through listening activities that teach kids to pay attention, which helps them communicate better while understanding and appreciating others. Through listening games or story activities, understanding the nuances of active listening becomes easier for young minds to grasp.

Such activities also help stimulate creative problem-solving skills, an excellent foundation for lifelong learning.

Listening Activities for Kids

So here is a list of easy and doable listening games I learned recently. We can all do these in our classrooms and our homes.

#1 – Silence Game

A classic Montessori silent activity with a twist. Here is how the listening game is taught differently.

He said, “Let’s sit here for a minute and listen to the sounds.”

Let me tell you that works much better for my 3-year-old than “Let’s Be Silent!” Check out the Montessori Silence lesson.

#2 – Exploring with Ears

The instructor played a series of sound effects and asked us, “What do you hear?” The sounds ranged from a pencil breaking and falling to the fall of a roller coaster.

Each with a specific end and beginning to it. We listened to a cd, but the BBC has an AMAZING sound library with free learning activities.

Here is another sound library that you might find helpful. Also, many libraries offer sound effects CDs.

Ask your child what he hears.

The Listening Walk book for kids

#3 – Listening Walk Activity

The instructor played two recordings of The Listening Walk by Paul Showers. The first recording was a reading of the book with sounds. The second recording was a reading of the book with only the sounds.

Ask your child what he heard in each version. I highly recommend owning the book, but your local library should also have a copy. It is a lovely book worth owning!

#4 – Find Sitting Spots

This idea came from a new friend in my Montessori program. She explained how her class listens from various sitting spots around the school and at various times of the day to notice the different sounds.

Kids can decorate the sitting spots for extra fun. So simple. Gather a notebook and pencil to journal if the child is ready for that extension.

#5 – Record a Walk

Create your Listening Walk! Record it on your phone or however you’d like to record the walk. Then play it back with your child. What do you both hear?

#6 – Match Sounds with Images

Prepare images and lay them on the floor before your child. As he listens and hears a sound, ask him to identify it on the cards.

#7 – Create a Sequence

This listening game for preschoolers is wonderful for reading comprehension.

Create a visual walk. Take the sounds heard from your walk or The Listening Walk book and ask your child to lay the cards out as he hears the sounds.

#8 – Scavenger Hunt with Your Ears

Create a grid of images, and as your child meanders and walks throughout his neighborhood or home, he can mark off the sounds he hears and identifies.

#9 – Where’s Waldo?

This is a super fun listening game! Classical musical storytelling at its best. Sit in a circle, play a short “sound scene,” and ask the children to identify a few sounds within that scene.

#10 – Name That Sound

Sound activities for kids don’t have to be complicated. We used white noise a lot when my boys were younger. The app we used is “White Noise Pro,” which costs $2.99. It was my son who started this activity.

One afternoon he grabbed my iPhone, and I noticed he was playing with the white noise app. This went on for quite some time, and he repeatedly asked, “Mama, what’s that sound?”

So, voila.


This app is terrific and includes sounds that kids will find interesting and funny:

  1. A cat purring
  2. Rain
  3. A fan
  4. Dishwasher
  5. Hair Dryer
  6. Clothes Dryer
  7. City Streets
  8. Railroad
  9. Lightning and Thunder
  10. Grandfather Clock
  11. Frogs
  12. Crickets
  13. Wind Chimes
  14. Fire
  15. Waves Crashing
  16. Shower
  17. Sprinkler
  18. Vacuum
  19. Airplane
  20. Heartbeat

Conversation and learning seem almost endless.

So when your child asks, “What’s that sound?” Ask him or her what he or she thinks, then guide him or her to a definition and description.

I am in the process of creating category cards to go along with the oral lesson. So, play a sound and ask your child to grab the card of the sound he or she believes he or she heard…and there you have it.

These easy preschool listening activities are a great way to help your child focus and develop their listening skills. With creativity, you can make these activities even more fun for your child. And who knows, maybe they’ll even teach you a thing or two!

Have fun!

You might enjoy 10 Fun Five Senses Activities for Sight & Hearing!

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