Auditory Sensory Activities the Backyard

These auditory sensory activities are a variety of backyard sensory play ideas that can be used as tools for addressing auditory sensory processing needs at home. using what you’ve got in (or outside) your house is a great way to work on auditory processing needs with kids. Think about all of the backyard sounds that can be used as therapy tools to help with auditory memory or auditory comprehension. In fact, the backyard is the perfect place to work on sensory needs with kids.

This blog post is part of my backyard sensory play series. It’s an old post here on The OT Toolbox, but it’s one that I’ve revamped to make into a movement and sensory challenge to help kids be active and building therapy skills at home.

auditory sensory activities for the backyard to add to a sensory diet for kids
Auditory processing sensory ideas for backyard summer sensory play, perfect for sensory diet ideas for kids.

The auditory sensory activities listed here can be used as part of a sensory diet for kids. Some of the ideas are great auditory seeking activities. Others are great for helping to challenge those with hypersensitivity to sound. In either case, the auditory sensory activities can be used as part of a sensory diet for those with needs.

If you are looking for information on how to create a sensory diet and use these movement activities with kids, then you are in the right place. Here are more outdoor sensory diet activities to get you started with sensory needs and the outdoors.

auditory sensitivity activities for kids

Auditory Processing Activities

Try these auditory processing ideas this summer. Each activity can be modified to make is a challenge for auditory seeking or auditory sensitivities.

Neighborhood Listening Scavenger Hunt-  Notice the sounds in the neighborhood.  Ask your child to locate or name the origin of the sounds as they walk around the neighborhood.  If the sound is too far away, ask them to name the origin.  During this activity, they need to discriminate between sounds.

Auditory Hide and Seek-  Play a game of hide and seek with sounds.  They child that is searching for kids can make a call and each hider responds with their own sound.  The person who is looking for others can determine who is making the sounds they hear and locate each child one at a time.

Listening Tag-  Play a game of tag in the backyard as children race to tag one another.  When the person who is “it” comes near another person, they can tag a person unless the runner sits on the ground and makes a noise.  When the child sits, they are on “base” and safe from being tagged. They can stand up again when the child who is “it” makes the same noise.  

Noisy Toy Positioning Game- Use a squeaky toy or bike horn in this noisy toy game.  Have one child hide with the toy and make it squeak.  The person who is looking for the toy needs to describe where the toy is hidden by using descriptive words like “over”, “under”, and “left”.

More auditory Sensory Activities

  • Bell parade
  • Kazoo sound hunt
  • Listening for birds or animals
  • Record backyard sounds and play back the recording. Try to recognize and name the sound and where it was located in the yard.
  • Fill containers with items from the backyard.  Shake plastic containers or even paper bags with the items and see if your child can name the objects.
  • Play Marco Polo in the yard!
auditory memory activities for kids to do at outdoors at home.

Looking for more backyard sensory ideas for summer?  

The Summer Sensory Activity Guide is the place to find everything you need for a summer of sensory input.  Use the sensory activities described in the booklet as a guide to meet the individual needs of your child.  The activities are not a substitute for therapy.  Rather, they are sensory-based summer activities that are designed to address each sensory system through summer play.  Activities are described to involve the whole family.  Right now, the Summer Sensory Activity Guide is a free bonus item to the new Summer Occupational Therapy Activities Packet.

The Summer OT Activities Packet is a collection of 14 items that guide summer programming at home, at school, and in therapy sessions. The summer activities bundle covers handwriting, visual perceptual skills and visual motor skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, regulation, and more.

You’ll find ideas to use in virtual therapy sessions and to send home as home activities that build skills and power development with a fun, summer theme. Kids will love the Summer Spot It! game, the puzzles, handouts, and movement activities. Therapists will love the teletherapy slide deck and the easy, ready-to-go activities to slot into OT sessions. The packet is only $10.00 and can be used over and over again for every student/client!

Grab the Summer OT Bundle HERE.

Summer OT Bundle

For more auditory sensory activities, try these activities for auditory learners.

Auditory processing sensory ideas for backyard summer sensory play, perfect for sensory diet ideas for kids.

Sensory Activities in the Backyard

 These are more sensory ideas you can add to an outdoor sensory diet to address sensory seeking needs or sensory avoiding in kids:

Wobble Ice Disk– Add vestibular input with a DIY wobble disk. Kids can help to make this heavy ice disk, adding proprioceptive input for a hot summer day.

Use a therapy ball– A large ball or a therapy ball/ exercise ball is a great way to add movement, heavy work, and calming proprioceptive input into backyard play.

Make a Water Bin– Water play is a great way to spend hot summer days in sensory play.

The Auditory Processing Kit is a tool to support learners by building skills in listening comprehension, auditory processing needs, and much more. The tools offer support to learners with hyper-responsive or hypo-responsive auditory systems. Therapists love the hands-on activities to support learning and active listening through play and handwriting tasks.

  • Listening Comprehension
  • Fine Motor Listening Skills
  • How to Improve Listening Skills Poster
  • Clap It Out Syllables Orthographic Activities
  • Beginning Sounds Letter Activity
  • Rhyming Words Activity
  • Activity Listening Activity
  • Hearing Skills Activity
  • Auditory Memory Strategies
  • What Does Active Listening Look Like?
  • Whole Body Listening Activity
  • Whole Body Listening Poster
  • Listening and Motor Skills Game
  • 2 Step Direction Cards
  • How to Support Hyper-Responsiveness of the Auditory Sense (handout and info sheet)
  • How to Support Hypo-responsiveness of the Auditory Sense (handout and info sheet)
  • Auditory Processing Tools Cards
  • Auditory Processing Speed -2 Digit Numbers
  • Auditory Processing Speed -3 Digit Numbers
  • Auditory Processing Speed -4 Digit Numbers

Use the handouts and posters to teach about the auditory system and auditory challenges, with strategies to support individualized needs. Get your copy of the Auditory Processing Kit today.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

auditory sensory activities for the backyard to add to a sensory diet for kids

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