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

Overview and benefit

Good listening skills which are so important in success at school, starts with tuning in carefully to sounds. By encouraging children to do different things according to the sounds they are hearing helps develop their ability to tune in and focus on what they hear and then act upon it. This helps them become good at listening and responding later in life. This activity extends the Guess the Sound activity by encouraging children to respond to the noise they hear by doing an action.

Training video

Sound Actions-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Sound Actions-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Equipment required

  •  Chosen guess the sound tracks with pictures


Two to three weeks

How it works

The class instructor shows the children 3 actions to do with 3 sounds. They then play one of sounds and the children respond by doing the action.

What to do in the class

Children stand in a circle so they can see you. Choose 3 of the Guess the Sound sounds and choose an action to go with each. Play the first sound and get the children to do the action, e.g. if it’s a plane then they put their arms out and ‘fly’ around on the spot. Then introduce the other sounds and actions. Explain to the children that they are now going to hear one of the sounds and they have to see if they can remember what action they have to do. Play the sounds in a random order giving the children time to do each action.

Adaptions for older/younger children

For younger groups you may have to stick with the same three actions for several weeks for them to respond with an action. Stick to more obvious choices for example, plane, car, birds, rain and train.

For older groups you can try some of the less obvious choices, how about miming bell Ringing (Church Bells), Riding a motorbike, playing tennis or pulling up your zip, or pouring and drinking a fizzy drink.


Possible sounds and actions:

  • Car – pretend to steer
  • Helicopter – swing hands above head
  • Horn – pretend to press horn
  • Plane – arms out and turn around
  • Zip – pretend to pull up a giant zip from the floor to your head
  • Washing machine – move your arm in a circle
  • Brushing teeth – brush teeth
  • Clapping – clap your hands together
  • Elephant – swing your arm in front of your nose like a trunk
  • Heart – tap your chest
  • Sweeping – pretend to sweep the floor
  • Knock – pretend to knock on the door
  • Cat – Mime Washing like a cat
  • Clock – make you arms be the hands of a clock
  • Cow – Chew Grass
  • Door – Mime opening and shutting a door
  • Fizzy Drink, pour and drink it
  • Rocket – Bend to the floor and whoosh up like a rocket
  • Vacuum clean – pretend to use a hoover
  • Baby – Lie on the floor and wave hands and feet (like a baby)
  • Cough – Hand over mouth
  • Frog – Jump like a frog
  • Hairdryer – Mime drying your hair
  • Monkey – Jump around and scratch like a monkey
  • Running a Bath – Put in Plug then mime turning on the taps
  • Sawing – make a sawing arm action
  • Hammer – make a hammering action with hand
  • Drill – point fingers and bring forward as if drilling a hole
  • Scissors – try to make a cutting action with fingers
  • Snoring – lie of the floor and pretend to sleep
  • Telephone – mime answering
  • Train – use your arms like a train
  • Cutlery – pretend to eat with a knife and fork
  • Motorbike – mime holding onto the handlebars and twisting the throttle
  • Seal – clap hands with straight arms in front of you
  • Skipping – jump and mime turning the rope with your hands
  • Tiger – hands in front of your face like claws and crouch
  • Woodpecker – Mime hand as if a woodpecker pecking wood