How to Teach Safe Listening Habits

lady sitting in the grass in the background listening to a portable speaker which is crisp and in focus
Cheri Moore

Written by Cheri Moore

June 24, 2021

Spice up summer with fun activities that teach safe listening habits. In a technology-driven society, adults, teens, and children are exposed to sound through devices, headphones, and earbuds more than ever before. While it is convenient to just pop in your earbuds and go about your day, I encourage mindfulness concerning the effects of exposure to sound on your hearing system. It is now more important than ever to teach safe listening habits.

Decibel Treasure Hunt

Teach your students or children how to use a Decibel Chart with a Sound Meter App during a Decibel Treasure Hunt. Students and children of all ages can work together. Using teamwork, create a list of sounds or use the free printable below. Have fun learning the loudness of a school bell, a closing door, and a book falling to the floor. If at home, discover the loudness of your dishwasher, running water, the barking of your pet dog, or the purring of a cat.

Decibel Treasure Hunt worksheet

Printable Decibel Treasure Hunt

Listening Habits Survey

Learn how your students or children respond when sound is too loud. With a reward at the end, challenge everyone to use the survey template to learn about their listening habits. Through breakout brainstorming sessions, add additional questions. Increase excitement by having students survey family members, friends, and neighbors. If you are the parent, consider filling one out from your observations of your child.

Listening habits survey used to teach safe listening habits

Printable Listening Habits Survey

Dangerous Decibels

Developers of the educational website, Dangerous Decibels, provide classroom programs. In 2013, Dangerous Decibels was presented the Safe-in-Sound Innovation Award from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).

Call or email Dangerous Decibels to request curriculum materials. Using their activities, students will enjoy learning about safe listening habits. Wow! You can even request one of their educators to present a fifty-minute program.

Phone Number: 503-494-0670


Dangerous Decibels teach three simple actions to protect your hearing.

  1. At home or away from home, walk away until sound levels are more comfortable.
  2. At home, turn the volume down.
  3. When you must stay around loud sounds, protect your ears.

Their activities teach the meaning behind decibels, the loudness of a sound. Additionally, you can incorporate resources I share in my previous posts:

Sound Energy YouTube Video

Have your students watch this very interesting YouTube video, How Sound is Transferred to The Inner Ear, showing what happens to sound energy after it enters the ear canal. Your hearing system amplifies sound! Imagine what happens when you also amplify sound through headphones or earbud usage.

Explore and Learn

I have always enjoyed a deep dive into a subject to explore the math, science, health, English, and literature behind it. For math, learn what happens when sound travels through a narrow ear canal versus a large ear canal. When teaching a science lesson, use different size rubber bands to create high and low-frequency sounds. For health, teach the anatomy of the hearing system. In an art class, you could make your own drums out of different materials to illustrate eardrum movements. For English, students can write a report full of facts or create a story showing cause and effect.

Learning about wavelengths and frequency promotes curiosity in the learner. One website, Teach Engineering, shares a fun activity, Simon Says Big Amplitude, Small Wavelength.

Safe Listening Resources

Parents, help your child apply safe listening habits at home. Today, it has become even more important to teach safe listening habits. Technology is used by children, teens, and adults in every aspect of life: school, work, gaming, news, entertainment, texting, and socializing. When you add up total hours in a week, your child may be wearing headphones too often which increases their risk of hearing loss.

Our hearing is irreplaceable. Once damaged, hearing loss is permanent. When you protect your hearing, you also protect your emotional health, cognitive skills, and instinctive movements.

My number one recommendation is to protect your child’s hearing by locking the volume on their devices. Secondly, encourage them to listen to music out in the room. Instead of gifting them earbuds, give them a portable speaker. You can find them on Amazon for a great price! If they have a cell phone, choose one of the top ten universal cell phone holders. Riding a bike or running is much safer when you are not wearing earbuds.

How to Listen Safely at Concerts

Our hearing system is designed to absorb sound energy stimulation through our bones and through our middle ear. Low bass sounds more strongly stimulate our skull bones. This is why you feel music dance in your bones at rock-n-roll concerts. It is possible to enjoy music at concerts with these three simple tips. Teach these safe listening habits to your teens:

  • Avoid standing in front of speakers
  • Stand well behind the speakers or towards the back of the room.
  • Wear ear protection like Mack’s Waxable Ear Plugs

If the concert occurs in a small space like a bar or a small church, Mack’s waxable earplugs are clear and easily moldable. Instead of pushing them into your ear canal, they block the opening of your ear canal. Thus, they feel comfortable and stay in place. Walgreens carries Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs.

macks pillow soft earplugs in a blue box

Stay tuned to learn about the meaning behind your student’s behaviors. Of course, what you learn also applies to your loved ones.

If you have questions or concerns, I encourage you to schedule a free phone consultation.

Learn more about common difficulties shared by struggling learners by visiting pages at

Pre-questionnaire activities teach you what to observe and how to observe, improving the accuracy of your Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report. Follow-up questions provide insights regarding the intensity and frequency of a person’s behavioral concerns.

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