This painting with sound activity was too brilliant to not share. It’s a perfect addition to a 5 senses theme. I can’t claim any credit for this other than choosing a great preschool for my kids. This came directly from my daughter’s teachers and when I saw it Wednesday I gasped because it’s pretty rare when I see something new to me. The only thing I changed was to put it on a vertical surface but that was because I was duplicating the activity only a few hours after my daughter did it at school and wanted to change it a little for her. I love using my doors as makeshift easels.
- Gather your materials. You will need some paintbrushes ( these were sent to me from craftprojectideas.com and worked well! ) , jingle bells, pipe cleaners, paper, and paint. If you are doing this on a window like we did you will want some painter’s tape to keep the paper up without leaving crud on your window.
- Start by threading the bells on the pipe cleaners. I put different numbers of bells on each to create slightly different sounds.
- Wrap around the end of the paint brushes.
- Let your little one explore the brushes and shake before they get covered in paint . She shook them as hard as she could before they were covered in paint.
- Grab some paint and paper.
- Add your artist. She really liked this and loved hearing the jiggle bells as she was painting. We talked about which ones made the prettiest sound and she decided she only liked 3 out of the 4 and refused to use the largest one at all. Using the vertical surface seemed to encourage her to make big strokes which really made the bells jingle. We ended up learning all about color mixing too. She wanted to make red so we tried all the combinations to discover how close we could come to it. Don’t shy away from lessons like color mixing that emerge from other ones. Yes the plan was to talk about sound but there is always room for more or different lessons.
- I even managed to step away and start dinner while she painted and made beautiful tinkling sounds.
This game was a big hit with my 3 year old son. It evolved into so many things. I love activities like that. When your kids can take it in any direction they would like and they are still learning while playing, that is my kind of fun.
My neighbor sells jewelry in her spare time. She gives me the jewelry boxes after she hosts a party. Now if you do not have a neighbor that gives you jewelry boxes (which most of you don’t) you can always use different sized shoe boxes or even food storage containers from your kitchen. Anything that has a detachable lid.
Place your different size boxes out on the table. Put the lids near them, but make sure to not have them in the same positions as the boxes.
Have your child put the lids on the boxes. This is great for shape learning, deductive reasoning, and just plain out fun.
My son asked if we could put things inside the boxes. So I got items that were all different from each other. I grabbed a crayon, craft poms, a decorative marble, and a crumbled piece of paper.
I had him close his eyes while I put these items in different boxes. After he opened his eyes I asked him to figure out which item was in each box. I even drew a little sketch of the different items on a scratch piece of paper so he could remember what he trying to figure out. It worked great because he crossed through the items when he figured them out. It was fun to watch his techniques for figuring out which items were in which box. He would shake, he would tilt from side to side, and he would put one in each hand to compare the weight. I was really impressed. I told him to do whatever he needed to do to figure it out, but he couldn’t open the boxes.
After that fun, this turned into a building activity. The boxes were a city and the craft poms became tress and bushes, while the crayon was a man. I love a preschooler’s imagination!
Now don’t think this was just for preschoolers. My 21 month old got in on the action, too. She matched up the lids.
She shook the boxes to learn the difference between the sounds the different items made. I opened the boxes with her before and after she shook them. I had to be very careful about the poms and the marble. Those items required this activity to be a closely monitored one for her age.
Her learning also evolved. The boxes got stacked and made into a bed for her doll. Soon all of the boxes made there way into the backs of various dump trucks where they continued to be played with in many ways.
So start looking around your house for boxes and containers with lids. Watch and see where your kids take this activity. Then come back and let us know. I know I would love to read about it.
Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself.
- Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, plain paper, markers, a ruler, scissors, stickers and glue or double stick tape.
- Make a simple chart , one space for the sound you are searching for and a small box for a sticker or a check mark.
- Add things you hear often around your neighborhood or where ever you will be listening. We did sirens, dogs barking, birds, cars, etc…
- Tape or glue the paper on the construction paper and head off on your walk.
- I gave the chart to my son and told him we were looking for all those sounds, we talked about hearing things, and although he was quite convinced we hear with our eyes, he still got it.
- I helped start things off my closing the garage door and asking him what he heard. when he said the garage door , I asked him to look on his chart to see if that was on it. When it was we got a sticker and put it in the box.
- The next up was our neighbors barking dogs! Then birds… we were only a few hundred feet from our door and we already had half the items on our safari.
As we kept walking we found more and my son pointed out ones we didn’t have like the lawnmowers the gardeners were using. That tickled me because that was the point of this whole exercise to learn about using our ears to hear and identify sounds. These were our final safari findings:
” Sounds Funny” and ” Sounds Tough” by Kevin Somers are exactly the type of books I have been looking for. They have super fun illustrations that dominate the pages, and the text is simply the sound that the pictures would make. A perfect way to engage young preschoolers and toddlers about sound. Also I found it rather interesting that the motorcycle sound in ” Sounds Tough” is ” Na Na Na” since my son calls motorcycles nanas. maybe he knows something I don’t! Either way there are many books about how sound works and the five senses that are far too complicated for really little guys, these books are perfect!