Personally, I find it much easier to listen when my hands are doing something. Even in college, I constantly fidget in class, and I would not be able to focus for very long if I didn't. So I think the kids can create quietly and still listen.
As for the loud noise, maybe have the kids create a device that measures how loud the classroom is, so they can see how it is easier to hear when the measurement on the device is lower?
I hope this helps.