Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Auditory discrimination is very important in learning to speak and say new words and later when they are learning phonics. This activity teaches children to really tune in and listen carefully. This activity involves playing 3 musical samples each week and displaying 3 pictures of instruments around the room. When each sample is played, children run to the appropriate matching picture. This benefits children by:

  • introducing them to different tones, pitches and tempo
  • developing an awareness of different instruments
  • teaching them good listening skills
  •  encouraging them to use deduction and logical reasoning
  • allows lots of physical movement

Training videos

Guess The Instrument-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Guess The Instrument-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Guess The Instrument2 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Equipment required

  • MAD Academy instrument sounds
  • Laminated “instrument” pictures
  • Blue-tac or Sellotape for sticking the pictures to the wall

Link to resources


For children to learn the format of the activity and begin to learn about the instruments involved, it is recommended that you do this activity for the full half term.

How it works

Play 3 musical instrument samples from each week.

What to do in the class

Place the pictures of the instruments on 3 different walls around the room for the children to see. Move to the picture when you hear the instrument and have the children make the appropriate actions for that instrument. Talk about each instrument. Once you have introduced each instrument, play the sounds again ask the children to find the corresponding picture. Get the children to make the appropriate actions for that instrument.

What to do in a nursery setting

Ask the children to point rather than run to each card to avoid collisions.


As an additional activity for advanced classes you can use the combination tracks. These are combination tracks which feature 2 instruments of varying classification. E.g. a brass instrument and a percussion instrument. This will help the children to tell the sounds apart. The tracks introduce each instrument separately first, playing a short section, and then combine the tunes. First get the entire class pretending to play the first instrument, remaining still when the other instrument solos, then swap and pretend to play the other instrument. Finally split the class in half and assign one instrument to each side. Make sure it is lively and use large movements whilst moving around the room pretending to play.