These games and activities were adapted for meditation classes from a science book called The Earth and Me by Mike Artell and Pam Schiller. They help children to grasp the connection between listening inwardly to their own nature to the sounds of the natural environment. Although these activities are geared for young children, I find that older children enjoy them as well.
Form groups and have them talk about sounds that tell them something.
• Horns on cars and trucks warn____________________________.
• Tea kettles whistle to let us know__________________________.
• The ringer on a telephone or doorbell tells us________________.
• Smoke alarms go off when________________________________.
Materials needed: 6 glass bottles & pencils
1. Fill three bottles with increasing amount of water. Label them 1 -2 -3.
2. Using a pencil, hit each bottle gently on its side and have the players listen to the sounds of each bottle.
3. Have players close their eyes and guess which bottle you are hitting by raising 1 -2 -3 fingers. Verify by telling them which bottle you hit.
4. To make the game more challenging, start increasing the number of bottles with various amount of water in them.
5. Have students form groups and take turns hitting the bottles. The rest of the players continue to listen and to raise 1 - 2 - 3 fingers to indicate the bottle they hear.
• Collect a variety of small objects, different sizes and textures, in a paper bag.
• A small cardboard box with a lid. The box should be small enough to hold easily and big enough for a small item to roll around when you shake it.
Turn your back to the children and select one item from the bag and place it in the cardboard box. Pass the box around and allow students to shake it and guess what is in it. If no one guesses you can tell them the correct answer. After a few rounds, have children take turns putting items in the box and challenging everyone else. Form small groups so everyone has a turn.
1. If I had shown you the items first, would it have been easier or harder? Why?
2. What information did you get from shaking the box?
3. What clues did you gain to guide you when listening to others?
Have children put their ears on the table and tap their fingertips on the table at the same time. What happens to the sound of the tapping?