Welcome to Day 29 of 31 Days of Backyard Nature Fun, a month-long series offering simple ways to get outside exploring the natural world. To see activities from earlier this month, head here.
I’ve got a wild child. You know the type – loves to run (mostly away from me), has a bit of trouble listening and basically operates on full throttle. All. Day. Long.
Funny thing is, when we’re outside exploring (be it in the backyard or beyond), he quiets down. He looks. He listens. And more importantly: He hears.
This activity is perfect for him. And for anyone else who wants to reconnect with the natural world in just a couple of minutes.
Day 29: Play the listening game.
The listening game can be played anywhere, anytime. We usually find a nice spot to sit down together in our front yard, but we’ve also played on hikes or while lying on the ground under a tree. We’ve played during the day and at night while camping. This is one game that is never the same twice.
The “rules” of the listening game (at least, as we play it) are pretty simple. I tell The Explorers: “I’m going to count to 20 in my head while you close your eyes and just listen – no talking. When time’s up, you can tell me everything you heard while you were listening. Then we’ll swap and you’ll count while I listen.”
To be honest, when we first played this game years ago, I doubted there would be anything interesting to hear in the front yard of our urban home. And while it’s true I did hear the faint hum of the nearby freeway (ugh!), I also heard the sound of the wind and crows cawing.
The point of the listening game isn’t to find out who hears the most. It’s really about taking time to pay attention to what’s happening around you. And then sharing it with each other.
Just joining us? Catch up on what we’re up to at 31 Days of Backyard Nature Fun.