Sonic Seasoning

Welcome to PLIX Sonic Seasoning! Do you eat with your ears? How can we encourage healthy eating through sound?

🥰 Ages 5+ 🕐 1–1.5 Hours 👩‍👧‍👦 up to 16 Participants 🍎 1–2 Facilitators 🎨 Craft Materials

Sonic Seasoning explores how using different auditory seasoning filters can help regulate eating behaviors in real time. This activity also encourages people to eat slower and more mindfully. There are many benefits to eating slower, including improving our dental and digestive health!

→ Learn about the science and research behind Sonic Seasoning in this news article.

Workshop Prompts & Gallery

Boxhead Diner:
Boxhead Diner: An auditory dining experience in a box! What other ways can you change the sounds of your eating experience?

Sensory Enjoy-o-Meter:
Sensory Enjoy-o-Meter: Rate your favorite and least favorite foods in different ways. Add your own categories for ratings.
Hear me crunch:
Hear me crunch: Try different ways to listen to each others’ crunching while you also eat!

Prompts from PLIX

Hear me Crunch Create wearable sound filters to change the sound of eating in different ways. Try it with a paper cup over each ear. How does it change the sound of food? What if you fill the cup with different materials? Try it with peers!
Sensory Enjoy-o-Meter Design a personal rating system that rates food using our different senses (sound, sight, touch, taste, smell, maybe more?) and characteristics like crunchiness or brightness of color. Where are your favorite foods in these ratings? Where are your least favorite foods?
Boxhead Diner Start with a box that can fit your head! Create an immersive eating experience that changes how you hear, or sense your food. Share the experience with friends and family!
Sidekick Symphony Team up and make some musical background sounds (using craft materials, or even the human body!) that enhance or worsen a person’s eating experience. Try a range from high pitch bells to low deep sounds.

PLIX Community Remixes

Check out more examples and experiences from other librarians on the PLIX Forum Sonic Seasoning space

PLIX Community Book Connections

I Hear a Pickle, by Rachel Isadora Ages 3+ Recommended by Clara Hendricks (Cambridge Public Library)

MunchA! MuncHa! MuNcha by Candace Fleming Ages 4+ Recommended by Anthony (PLIX)



Supply Kit

Cut & assembled Sonic Seasoning zines 1 per participant
Crunchy snacks
Paper cups (big enough to go over ears!)
Pom poms
Jingle bells
Glue/Hot glue gun
Popsicle sticks
Pipe cleaners
For Boxhead diner: cardboard box, X-acto knife, aluminum foil


Zine ↓

PLIX zines are a supplementary resource for patrons and librarians to refer to. Use our guide to cut and assemble them.

Remixable Zine ↓

Love our zine, but it doesn’t fit your adaptation of the activity? Remix our zine with this Google Slides template!


Playtest and Plan

Remember: There’s no one right way to prepare for a workshop. Use these steps as a loose guideline for planning to run this activity.

  1. Choose one of our prompts, or come up with a prompt that suits your library community. Our activity guides are for getting you started—feel free to change or create new design elements to suit your local community! All PLIX activity guides are designed for a minimum of 1–2 facilitators
  2. Gather materials and print out the zine.
  3. Make an example project. Try it out with friends and colleagues. Thoughtfully incomplete, good examples feature a variety of approaches and starting points. Use them to inspire learners to make something uniquely their own. Guide to Making Activity Examples
  4. Try the activity with your patrons. Set a date and time. Easily promote your workshop with our editable Sonic Seasoning flyer template
  5. Populate your workshop space with diverse example projects. Create and play together!
  6. Reflect on what you’ve done and consider doing a remix!
Share your remix—Did you come up with new prompts? Share your ideas with your peers on the PLIX Forum. Try our Remix Share-Out template if you’d like us to feature your remix!

Facilitation Tips

This activity is designed to invite learners of all backgrounds into tinkering the sounds of materials, and share their food interests. The materials used in this activity are intentionally low-cost and friendly to encourage participants to try new things, mess around, make mistakes, and experiment. When facilitating this activity, we encourage you to support this tinkering mindset!

✋🏽 Hold the food!

Young patrons can be very excited for the food you’re offering. Hold off distributing the food until after introducing the activity or having them read and engage with the zine. Some librarians suggest coloring the zine! 🖍

💡 Inexpensive, familiar materials support tinkering

The materials used in this activity are intentionally low-cost and friendly to encourage participants to try new things, mess around, make mistakes, and experiment.

😋 Don’t yuck my yum!

As we dive into cultural food territory, foreign dishes may draw negative knee-jerk reactions. Discouraging these reactions outright may dissuade some from participating in the activity. Instead, ask questions to foster curiosity Support and maintain a respectful and inviting learning environment by placing the focus on patron’s different sensory experiences of their food.

📣 Crafty sounds

This activity also encourages creative thinking about the sound of craft materials! What sounds can paper make? What about pens or pom poms? Can sounds be tasty?

Dive deeper into creative learning facilitation with our Self-Guided Mini Course. It’ll also help you get started running your first PLIX workshop.

What We ❤️ About This Activity

🌎 Remixable for all celebrations of food! This activity can be adapted for seasonal foods, holidays, cultural celebrations, and local food events.

🥗 Mindful eating We can’t stop thinking about the sound of our food! This activity really stuck with our beta-testers as they went about their daily food-filled lives.

🥰 Peers, play, and passion Encouraging conversations around food, and experimenting with different sound experiences and craft materials makes this a very social activity. Try this with groups and learners of different ages!

About PLIX Sonic Seasoning

This activity was developed in collaboration with Clara Hendricks and Saffana Anwar of Cambridge Public Library, and Rebecca Kleinberger (Professor at Northeastern University and Affiliate Researcher at the MIT Media Lab, Opera of the Future group). The research is based on Rebecca’s work with Akito van Troyer, Professor at Berklee College of Music, and Qian Janice Wang, Professor at Aarhus University.

This activity was also designed in response to the Cambridge Science Festival’s 2022 call for their new Science + Food theme.

Other ways to engage with PLIX Sonic Seasoning

  • Questions? Ask them on the PLIX Discussion Forum 🙋‍♀️
  • Share your experience running this activity on Twitter or Instagram and tag us @heyplix
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