Give sound mapping a try

How many chances do you get to stop and listen to nature? This activity will give you the chance to pause and think. You’ll suddenly hear sounds you’ve not noticed before and will begin to feel part of nature, rather than separate to it. It’s a great mindfulness activity, and will help children of all ages to feel more calm. It can also really help with starting to identify nature through sound!

What you will need:

  • A piece of paper
  • A pencil or pen
  • A clipboard or notebook to lean on (optional)
  • A mat to sit on (optional)
  • Access to an outdoor space (or open the window and complete inside).

How to give sound mapping a try:

  1. Firstly draw out your template – with the paper in landscape, draw a circle in the middle. This represents where you are. Then draw four diagonal lines from this circle to the corners of the paper. This will help you to place the sounds you hear into different sections. Alternatively – print out the pdf at the bottom of this page, as this contains a template.
  2. Find a quiet place to sit – either in a green space or garden, or in a room with the windows open.
  3. Choose a set amount of time – 2, 5 or 10 minutes is plenty.
  4. Stay quiet for that amount of time and focus on the sounds that you hear – include both natural and man-made sounds.
  5. Write or draw the sounds onto the piece of paper. See if you can work out which direction they are coming from, and place them in the correct section on the page (remember that the central circle is you).
  6. Once you’ve finished see if everyone else heard the same things. If you’re unsure of something, can they help you identify what you might have been hearing?


Share what you hear using #DiscoverLearnPlay

This activity was developed as part of the Trust-led Cumbernauld Living Landscape partnership.


Time to complete

2 - 10 mins

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Health and Wellbeing

Social Studies (People, place and environment)

Sciences (Biology, ecology, natural history, planet Earth topic)


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