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

Overview and benefit

This activity is designed to develop baby’s auditory skills and awareness by focusing on the important skill of auditory location. Babies need to learn to ‘tune in’ to the sounds around them, recognising which ones they should respond to – this is why babies sometimes don’t seem to react when you call their names at first to get their attentions. Then once they are able to recognise when a sound should have their attention, they need to learn to look for the location of that sound to begin to learn what has caused it.

Equipment required

  • A variety of props or toys which make distinctive noises (bells, a squeaky toy, rattle, toy phone, drum)


Two to three weeks

How it works

Mums and babies sit quietly in a circle. Sounds are heard from a variety of places around the circle and babies are encouraged to look towards the source of the sound and see if they can pin point it. To encourage anticipation – make an object disappear behind a screen at one side and reappear the other end – can they learn to look for it. Are they surprised when another object appears instead! Or, sitting in circle, place an object with a noise (eg quacky duck) behind parents’ backs.

What to do in the class

You will need the help of some mums with this activity. Mums and babies sit in a circle. Babies need to be in a sitting position so that they can see the rest of the mums and turn their heads when they hear a noise. Go around the circle and give 4 mums a different prop/instrument/toy. They need to be quite well spaced out to ensure the babies can differentiate between the direction of the sounds. The room needs to be as quiet as possible! Ask your first mum to make a noise with their prop behind their back. Repeat the noise a few times and see if the babies turn towards the noise. Mums can encourage their babies to do so by looking in the correct direction themselves, then back at their babies. Ask the mum to make the noise again and bring the object into view. It’s important that the babies can see the object so they know they were looking in the right direction. Also making the discovery keeps them interested. Repeat with the other props located around the circle. Vary the noises each week

Adaptations for older/younger children

None required

What to do in a nursery setting

Assuming that there is at least one member of staff per three babies if a normal room ratio is adhered to, the activity would not require any Adaptations.


Warn parents before you start that they will need to pass an instrument around behind their backs, so place their babies in their laps in such a way as to hold them with one hand. Make the circle small and close so that the parents can pass the instruments easily without having to stretch. Ask the parents not to give the instruments to the children once they are revealed as its hard to get them back!

Possible props for ‘Where’s that Noise?’

  • Drum
  • Bells
  • Tambourine
  • Squeaky toy
  • Toy telephone
  • Maraca
  • Glockenspiel
  • Toy hammer
  • Any toys that make a noise