Sound Map

A drawing of a neighborhood on a piece of paper

Hone senses and writing skills as children make a sound map of your neighborhood. This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to use writing for a variety of purposes.

Materials Needed:

  • Clipboard
  • Paper
  • Writing tools
  • Phone or camera (optional)

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  • Step 1: Take a walk around your neighborhood. Ask your child to take note of sounds they hear, writing brief descriptions or drawing pictures on the paper and clipboard.
  • Step 2: Help your child develop a “sound map” of the neighborhood. For example, maybe on the corner, you hear a dog barking or water running, or down the street is a home with children playing in the backyard. Show your child how to draw a map. Label your home, the streets, and the sounds you discover.
  • Step 3: Try making a “smell map” or a “touch map.” Smells might include a bakery, flowers, someone’s morning coffee, or gasoline. Touches could include interesting plants, animals, or trees.

Learn More: Take photos of your neighborhood and put together a photographic map or help your child write a book about your neighborhood.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
A drawing of a neighborhood on a piece of paper

Recommended for you