The Best Activities for the Auditory System

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You may have noticed your child or student does not like loud, sudden noises, or struggles in different environments because of the noise. Today I want to share some of the best activities for the auditory system.

What is the Auditory System?

This includes hearing, listening, interpreting, localizing sounds, and being able to filter and selectively attend to auditory stimuli.

If a child is struggling with auditory input may show some of the following sensitivities:

  • Sensitive to loud, sudden sounds
  • Distracted by background noises
  • Does not speak as well as others their age 
  • Has a significant history of ear infections 
  • Covers their ears often to block sound 
  • Asks others to repeat what they said 
  • Has trouble with phonics and learning to read 
  • Unusually high volume or low volume in their voice 
  • Often seems to ignore parents or teachers

Activities and Strategies for the Auditory System

When you are addressing auditory sensitivities with a child or student, these are some of the best ones to try.

As always, if you have a concern about any child or student's development

  • Use headphones or earplugs to block out background noises
  • Simplify language when giving instructions to your child or in the classroom
  • Give a verbal or visual warning before loud sounds (like fire drills) to cover ears.
  • Try Therapeutic Listening programs – this is specialized training that Occupational Therapists and Assistants can get and use with students on their caseload. So you would need to see an OT in order to use this.
  • Include a rain stick in your sensory space or room
  • Musical instruments such as shakers or learning to play an instrument 
  • Calming, soft music to encourage regulation and self-calming 
  • Use a white noise machine, fan, etc. 
  • Play clapping games 

Free Handout for the 8 Sensory Systems

I have a free handout on the visual system, along with all 8 sensory systems in these 8 sensory systems printable packet. You can access it for free when you subscribe to Growing Hands-On Kids. I send a weekly newsletter of child development tips, tools, and strategies, plus other free handouts and printables.

To get your free printable packet, put your email address into the form below. You'll be redirected to a thank you/success page and then check your email for the free download. You'll also receive my free sensory systems email series with more tips and ideas for all 8 sensory systems.

Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
All information on the Website is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice from a physician or your pediatrician. Please consult with a medical professional if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child. The information on the Websites does not replace the relationship between therapist and client in a one-on-one treatment session with an individualized treatment plan based on their professional evaluation. The information provided on the Website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

Do not rely on the information on the Website as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the Website. All medical information on the Website is for informational purposes only.

All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY The Website was developed strictly for informational purposes. You understand and agree that you are fully responsible for your use of the information provided on the Website. Growing Hands-On Kids makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees. You understand that results may vary from person to person. Growing Hands-On Kids assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions that may appear on the Website.