The outdoor sound garden

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By Judith HarriesEarly Years teacher and writer

Develop creative and musical skills exploring sound making in your outdoor area


Girl using maracas


In this article:

  1. Starting out
  2. Create an outdoor sound garden using homemade instruments
  3. Amazing hanging gardens
  4. Useful resources

Starting out

Step outside

Go outside with a small group of children and ask them to listen to all the sounds they can hear as they walk around your setting. Encourage them to be ‘Sound detectives’ and listen carefully to identify all the sounds around them. Make a list of the sounds and record them if possible using a handheld microphone. Can they hear cars, traffic, sirens, children, birds, animals, machines, footsteps, wind, and so on? Are there any unusual sounds in your local setting?

Singing garden

Go outside and sing some familiar songs with the children. Try using a guitar or portable CD player as accompaniment. Does the children’s singing sound different outside? Learn this song to the tune of ‘Oh my darling, Clementine’:

In the garden, in the garden,

There are sounds that we can hear.

In the garden, in the garden,

Some are far and some are near.

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