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Feb 192013

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? is one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books. After reading the book, we went on a sound hunt.

Go On A Sound Hunt Inspired by Mr. Brown Can Moo by Dr. Seuss

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises  is full of onomatopoeia.  It’s all about the sounds Mr. Brown can make.

Go on a Sound Hunt Inspired by Dr. Seuss

This made me think about all of the sounds we hear everyday – especially sounds outside.  We prepared to go on a sound hunt.

Go On A Sound Hunt Inspired by Mr. Brown Can Moo by Dr. SeussI asked Aiden what sounds we could hear outside.  I wrote down what he said in a notebook.  He started by saying different sounds from the book – most of which we probably wouldn’t hear outside.  I wrote them down anyway.  He flipped through the book naming sounds along the way.  I kept writing.

I asked him what else he thought we might hear outside.
Me:  Could we hear a bird outside?
Aiden:  Yes!
Me:  What does a bird say?
Aiden makes a bird sound – too too doo doo {not sure what bird he’s thinking of…}
Aiden:  Hear owl outside.
Me:  What sound does an owl make?
Aiden:  Hoo

We added a few more things to our list before heading out.

Here’s our list of things and their sounds according to Aiden:

  • Duck – quack
  • Cow – moo
  • Train – choo choo all aboard
  • Thunder – boom boom boom splatt
  • Hippo chewing gum – grum grum grum
  • Rain – dibble dopp
  • Door – knock knock
  • Clock – tick tock
  • Birds – too too doo doo (bird sound)
  • Owl – hoo
  • Dogs – ruff
  • Cat – meow
  • Bee – buzz
  • Rooster – cockadoodledoo

Outside we went.  Aiden decided to travel on his horse.

Travelling by horse on the sound hunt.

We paused every so often and listened for sounds.

I recorded what we heard in our notebook.

I would say things like:
What sound do you hear?
What makes that sound?
Did you hear that sound?
I hear a plane.  What sound does a plane make?

From our list above, we heard birds, dogs, a bee, and a rooster.

Stopping by the flowers to listen to the bees.

The pink and purple pinwheel goes tick tick.

Aiden enjoyed the sounds he made stomping through the grass.

We added the following things to our list:

  • People talking
  • Music, drums, singing
  • Wind blowing through trees – swoosh
  • Car – vroom vroom
  • Leaves moving across the ground – scritch
  • Foot moving across flowers
  • Pinwheel spinning – tick tick
  • Feet stomping on the ground – stomp, stomp
  • Walking through grass – shhhh
  • Weedeater – whoom whoom
  • Tool falling on the ground – clang
  • Plane – nyarem
  • Water spray – swish, psshhh

We had so much fun listening for sounds on our walk today.

What sounds will you hear on your Dr. Seuss inspired sound hunt?

Be sure to check out more of our Dr. Seuss inspired ideas.



Linking up here.

Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. See disclosure policy for more info.

This post was first published on May 8, 2012. Aiden was 2 years old.


  57 Responses to “Outdoor Sound Hunt Inspired by Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?”

  1. I love this so much! What a wonderful way to show your little guy how much is going on even when we’re not talking. :-)

  2. This is great!!! I’m pinning this to do with my daughter on our next walk. I love all of the sounds he heard! And what a fun sensory activity for listening!

    • Thanks! It was tons of fun. I was excited that I could connect it to a book that we had been reading and that he keeps quoting. :)

  3. I love this idea! Have you read the book ‘City Sounds’ by Rebecca Emberly? It’s full of onomatopoeia words you might find while walking through a city. I use it with my students learning English and for inspiring students to write onomatopoeia poems. It’s a great book, I highly recommend it!

  4. What a wonderful way to spend time outdoors. Can’t wait to try that on our next walk. Last Fall, we collect fall leaves and it was so fun.

    • We enjoyed it very much. I think my son enjoyed finding the sounds we heard from the book the most! He kept saying, “Mr. Brown can moo!”

  5. What a great way to get kids to notice the sounds around them. Great idea, and I got a kick out of your son going on the hunt by horse. =)

    • Thanks, Rebekah! I thought it was funny that he brought his horse, too, since it made it harder to hear things. But it did force us to stop and listen every so often, so we could hear things better.

  6. What a brilliant idea. Its great to get kids using all their senses and this engages listening beautifully. I like the link to the Dr Suess book too

  7. Great idea! A good way to really teach kids (and adults!) to be in the moment as they walk outside.

  8. Oh when R was younger that was his absolute favorite book. I love that you added to it with a sound hunt! Wonderful idea :)

    • It’s been Aiden’s favorite book for the last 3 weeks. We just returned it to the library yesterday. I’m guessing we’ll need to purchase it or recheck it out as he’s still talking about it. :)

  9. Oh, we love that book too! It is just as fun for mommy to read as it is for the girls to listen too. I love the idea of a sound hunt. :)

  10. What a great idea! We’ve had lots of treasure hunts outside but never a sound hunt. Love it!

  11. Love this idea – I have never thought to do it before. But it is so simple and lovely… we are going to a botanical garden tomorrow and this activity will be perfect. Thank you!

    • You’re so welcome, Helen! It will be fun at the botanical garden – so many great sounds. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures there. :)

  12. this is great! a hippo chewing gum? hilarious! that s a fab book….great application!

  13. I love this! My little boy doesn’t stop talking long enough to listen for things, but he does have super sonic hearing and always asks ‘what’s that noise’? when I haven’t even noticed anything! Be great to do an activity like this to focus it all! Thanks!

  14. Such a fun activity! And when you stop and listen it’s amazing what you pick up :-) We like to talk about what we can hear when we go for walks :-)

    • I enjoyed my son’s list of things he thought we might hear outside – a lot of them were probable. There were lots of new sounds, too!

  15. What a great idea! Have never thought of doing a sound hunt before. Pinning this :D

  16. What fun!!! Fantastic OUTDOOR book extension activity! And I <3 that he brought along his horse :)

    • I think the horse was my favorite part of the adventure! We talked about its sound, too {and how we couldn’t hear over it sometimes}.

  17. Great learning activity!! I love outdoor activities that allows them to explore :)

  18. Great idea. Like others I love the idea of being outside of ourselves and tuning in to what is going on around us!

  19. What a fun activity! We just got this book for an Easter present a few weeks back and my son loves it. I’m always trying to point out the sounds we hear during out nature walks, too. I can’t wait until he’s a bit older to try this out with him. :)

  20. What a fantastic idea! idea! I think we will be doing this on our next walk!

    I’d love if you link this (and any other relevant post) to my Teaching Time for Toddlers link party–which is open all week!

  21. This is a super idea! I think we’ll have to do this on our next neighbourhood walk! I”m always amazed when the little ones point out sounds and noises that I don’t even notice – I just take them for granted. They’re so aware and tuned in!

  22. Lovely post trisha :) .. I just bought this book for my daughter yesterday. Can’t wait to try out all the activities you mentioned. :) Sounds like so much fun..

    I have a linky thats on this whole month on Books & related activities here . Would love to have you link in.

  23. That’s one of our favourite books too! What a fantastic way to engage hearing on a walk. Walks can be so visual. I love the idea of engaging more senses.

  24. AWESOME…so much like the digital scavenger hunt I’ve done before, only sounds! On my list of to-dos! I love this because listening is an important part of our scientific observations, which I posted about his week! Listening is such an important skill. So many times we just go through life, not really enjoying everything that is around us. What a great way to help our little ones gain a thankfulness for life! :)

  25. So neat! I would never have thought to go on a sound hunt and it is such a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing..

  26. What fun! I love the learning that took place with his horse along. You were able to locate so many sounds!

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

  27. What a fun idea! I m going to try this with my little one.

    Thanks for linking to Fun Sparks xx

  28. How fun!!! I am going to try this with my kids! I hope Aiden wasn’t too disappointed that you didn’t hear a hippo chewing gum. I almost choked on my coffee when I read that. LOL!

  29. I *love* this idea! I know my kids would have so much fun with it. We do a lot of scavenger hunt type activities, but I hadn’t thought of doing a sound-based one before. This is now on my to-do list.

    • Thanks, Carolyn! My son loved repeating all of the sounds in the book so much that I wanted to extend the learning to his world. The outside sound hunt was great fun!

  30. Love it when kids learn new things. This sounds like a fun day together.

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