Ages 2 ½ to 5 years
Sound is a sense that develops listening skills. Listening is one of the building blocks for language development, reading and comprehension. Sound is the foundation of music as well.
You can make them with recycled material. Tea bags that come in metal cylinders make wonderful sound boxes for toddlers. They are larger than the Montessori standard ones and are easier for your toddler to grasp. Also, same sized vitamin bottles work well.
12 identical plastic bottles or small containers with a lid or a cover. ( You can use strong, small, cardboard boxes with lids that can be sealed with glue, old metal bandage boxes with the lids taped shut, even yogurt containers with lids)
Contact paper to cover the containers. Six materials for the sounds, such as sand, large beans, small beans, rice, small beads, coffee, small screws, salt, pepper and sugar.
Make the sounds as easy to recognize from a soft sound to a loud sound. Make the sound boxes more difficult after your child has mastered the lesson.
How to make the sound boxes:
Fill two containers ¼ full of same material. Cover well and seal with glue or tape since your child will be shaking the container. Put the pairs in a box. You can make the containers more attractive by covering them with contact paper. Place containers in a larger box
Let your child have one of each of the pairs of the boxes. Show your child how to shake a cylinder, holding it in one hand, and listening to the noise it makes. Use 3 to begin with, the soft, medium, and loud.
Using the 3 sound boxes from exercise one, add other 3 that match (soft, medium, loud) Put them in a row of 3 boxes. Ask your child to shake one of the boxes, and then put it in the middle of the table. Have your child shake and listen to each of the other 3 boxes in the other row until he or she finds the one that matches. Show how to put the matching pair together and continue with the next pair. Add more boxes after your child has mastered the first 3 boxes.
Take one set of the sound boxes (they will all have a different sound) and put it on your child’s table. Shake box in turn and arrange them in order of sound from either loud to soft or soft to loud.
Take the first three boxes from lesson 1 and put it on your child’s table. Take the matching boxes and put them another table on the other side of the room. Have your child shake one of the boxes from his or her table. Ask them to leave the cylinder and find the one that matches at the table across the room. Add more if your child as your child becomes more proficient.
You can expand this lesson by listening to classical music with your child. Talk about the music when it is soft, or when it changes from loud to soft. You can even pick out instruments that are loud sounding verses ones that sound soft, and some that are in between soft and loud. For example, an violin sounds soft compared to the crashing sound of cymbals.