Ages: Twins- Actual age 16 months, Corrected Age 14 months; Tex- 16 months
Last week Mama Tex had us over for Tot School, and I must say it was one of the best sessions yet! We were excited to begin our “Five Senses” series with a lesson devoted entirely to the sense of sound. Mama Tex had a full morning of simple, engaging activities for the little ones that kept them interested the whole time…no easy feat for this bunch!
As usual, our Little Minds session began with circle time, which consisted of our Welcome Song, weather check, and book of the day. Check out this post for a detailed description of a typical Little Minds lesson. Our book of the day was the abridged version of another classic Dr. Suess book, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? I love that there are board books available of these classics! At home, I was able to find several books in our personal library that emphasized sound, including Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton, Dinosaur Roar by Henrietta and Paul Stickland, and Doggies by Sandra Boynton. A quick search on Amazon will give you a long list of books about sound appropriate for your toddler or preschooler.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the ability to identify and discriminate between different animal sounds is an early literacy skill?
Activity #1: Pill Bottle Shakers
For our first activity, Mama Tex brought out a basket of shakers made from old pill bottles and other fun containers. She had filled the shakers with different materials such as rice or beans so they made a variety of sounds. The babies were occupied for quite awhile just shaking and listening to all the different containers. We provided language support throughout the activity by describing the different sounds as the babies shook them. Remember, your children are like little sponges…give them plenty of language to “soak up,” even if they aren’t quite able to hold a conversation yet!
Activity #2: Loud or Soft?
Our next activity was a tray of various objects (some pictured below) and a couple of large clear containers made of hard plastic (pictured above in the “experiment with sound” photo). As you can see below, some of the objects were heavy, while others were light. We demonstrated dropping the objects into the containers, and the little ones quickly followed our lead. As they dropped the objects in and listened to the resulting sounds, we provided language modeling by labeling the sounds “loud” or “soft.” With older toddlers you could sort the objects by these categories or even play a guessing game, predicting which category the sounds from each object might fit into.
Activity #3: Kitchen Band
Next on the list- a kitchen band! Mama Tex had gathered her noisiest pots, pans, and kitchen utensils for a little noisy fun. Pot lids made excellent symbols, cake pans made fabulous drums, and trays with ridges made cool sounds when scraped with wooden spoons. Little Man had the best time with this…I think he might be a rock star in the making!
I am always on the lookout for child-friendly “instruments” to add to our collection, and I brought some over (pictured above) for sound day. Little Man had fun with Tex’s piano and xylophone (below).
We also introduced giant bubble wrap to the babies…Miss Toots was a big fan, although she just wanted to hold it, not pop it!
For our outside activity, Mama Tex gave each baby two heavy paper plates and some markers to decorate them. When the little ones tired of that, we placed a handful of dried beans between the plates and stapled them together to make a tambourine.
We finished the afternoon by listening to and identifying the sounds we heard while eating our snacks in the backyard. The babies practiced the ASL signs for “airplane,” “car,” and “bird” as well as marveling at the new wind chime that Mr. Tex had hung up the night before.
Great job, Mama Tex! What a fun day. Our next Little Minds post will be about the sense of sight. Stay tuned!
Until next time,
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