Fall is a season of many changes. The weather is chillier and rainier, and twilight falls a little sooner every day. One of the most fascinating changes is watching the leaves turn yellow, orange and red. Then they gradually leave the branches bare. Looking for a fall activity? Take advantage of the beauty of nature to play hide-and-seek as a family and sharpen your hearing to the sounds around you.
In this game, you use your ears to catch an audible signal and find people who are hiding. Each person makes a different noise: rustle dead leaves, break twigs with their hands, or hit a tree trunk with a fallen branch. The “seeker” must identify the “hider” based on the sounds heard. Your children will refine their hearing perception to identify the sounds they perceive and match them with objects. They’ll also have to practice sound location; the hearing system’s ability to determine a sound’s direction of origin. This skill can guide them to a person they are speaking to in a noisy environment. According to the research by Alexandra Parbery-Clark of Northwestern University and her colleagues (2009), musicians can perceive speech against a noisy background better than non-musicians. This fall keep on stimulating your children’s cognitive development and musical skills. Don’t hesitate to enjoy the fresh air to sharpen your hearing as a family!
Parbery-Clark, A., Skoe, E., Lam, C., & Kraus, N. (2009). Musician Enhancement for Speech-In-Noise: Ear and Hearing, 30(6), 653‑661. https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0b013e3181b412e9