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 is activity extends our Guess the Sound game and aims to encourage children to remember what sounds they have heard whilst still identifying another sound.

Equipment required

  • Chosen guess the sound tracks – 2 or 3 per week
  • Corresponding guess the sound pictures – one large version of each sound for you and enough small versions for each child to have each of the sounds


At least 3 or 4 weeks so the children learn what is expected, particularly if they are used to doing Guess the Sound.

How it works

Play two sounds consecutively while the children try to remember which sound they heard first and lay out corresponding cards in order. The visual aid helps the children understand the concept of sequencing sounds.

Training Video

What to do in the class

Have the children sat in a close circle. Choose 2 of your more simple ‘Guess the Sound’ sounds. Give each child small cards of each sound to hold. Play each sound separately at first to ensure everyone understands what they are hearing and show them the large pictures of each sound. Ask the children to hold up their small cards each time.

Now explain that you are going to play both the sounds one after the other. Place your larger cards face down in front of you in the sequence you are going to play the sounds.  Place the cards vertically rather than horizontally with the top the card being the first sound and explain to the parents that when ordering their cards with the children encourage them to do the same (as it avoids the issue of understanding that we start reading words and sequences from left to right!)

Now play the 2 sounds sequentially. Ask them to put the cards down in front of them in the order they heard the sounds (they will needs lots of parental help at first for this – remember the first sound card goes at the top). Play the sounds again in the same order and ask the children to check if they are right (or those who are slower could put them down at the same time). Repeat if necessary. Now ask the children, “Which sound did I play first?” Play the first sound as you turn over the first large card to reveal the answer.  “Ask the children is that the card that you had at the top in first place?” Repeat with the second sound.

You could give the children 2 new sounds and repeat the activity. You could swap one of the sounds for a new one and repeat the activity. You could introduce a third sound to the two you have just done and try to order 3 sounds.

Adaptation for 3s to 4s

For older children who find it relatively easy to spot 2 sequential sounds, try to introduce a third sound.

What to do in a nursery setting

You may have to adopt a ‘hands up if you think it was the …..’ approach in a nursery to avoid all the children calling out at once.


This activity could be done as an extension to Guess the Sound. Do Guess the Sound first then using the same 3 sounds see if  the children can spot the sequence. When doing Guess the Sound in the weeks before, place the large cards vertically in front of you so the children begin to see a sequence of sounds represented like this before tackling this activity.