{Toddler Explorations} Take a Listening Walk

While at the thrift store, I came across a really fantastic picture book that I wanted to share with you. It's The Listening Walk by Paul Showers. In it, a little girl goes on a walk with her father and their dog. She closes her eyes and pays close attention to all the sounds that she hears and notices how different they are on a city street, compared to a park. Silas loves this book, so we decided to do a listening walk of our own around our own back yard.

We sat down in the grass, closed our eyes and I asked Silas to name all the things he could hear. I wrote them down exactly as he listed them for me. Occasionally I would hear something first. If after waiting a moment he didn't mention it, I would point to my ear (our sign for "listen") and then point in the direction of the sound. His sense perception is amazing, though, and most of the time he hears things long before I do.

One element that you often find in a Reggio learning environment is an opportunity for cross-modal representation. This means that kids are encouraged to think about their sensory experiences as they relate to one another. What do feelings sound like? How might you draw a smell? To introduce this, I handed Silas a clip board of his own. We read through the list of things that we had heard and I invited him to draw what he thought those sounds would look like.

This was a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Silas is 2.5 years old.


  1. Such a lovely idea. I like any learning activities that encourage you to really use your senses. I never heard of that book. I'll have to check it out!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  2. When my daughter (12 mo) and I take our daily walks with the dogs, I try to acknowledge the sounds that we hear. Crows are an easy one to distinguish and imitate!