I’m back with another post for 6 Days of Sensory Play! On Tuesday, I shared a collection of scented activities. Today is about auditory sensory play, which focuses on hearing. Back when we were talking about plants and flowers, my preschoolers and I investigated seeds. They love the homemade musical shakers in our music box, which gave me the inspiration for this matching game. Rather than using a variety of objects in the shakers, I decided to go with different types of seeds.
Related: Homemade Games for Kids
use seeds to create a sound matching game
Plastic bead sorters
*Other possibilities include leftover plastic Easter eggs, small plastic containers with tops – basically, anything you have on hand that would work
Making the matching game was rather easy. I put the seeds into the bead sorters, making sure that there were 2 containers of each seed. Then Little Hurricane, who’s 3, helped me wrap the containers in aluminum foil (to keep prying eyes out). Other possibilities for covering the containers – tape, colored paper, or containers that aren’t clear. From there, I put the covered bead sorters on a tray and we got started.
How We Played
I told the kiddos that I had hidden different kinds of seeds inside each covered container. As soon as I said that, they each picked up a few containers and shook them up. I thought it was pretty funny that that was their first reaction to the seed shakers. I hadn’t said anything about shaking the containers or listening to the sounds of the seeds.
They couldn’t SEE the seeds, FEEL the seeds, TASTE the seeds, or SMELL the seeds . . . so their first reaction was to use the one sense they could, HEARING. They did this right away, too, realizing on a basic level that there was only one way to explore the activity.
I let them play around with the seed shakers for a while, laughing as they created all kinds of sounds. It cracked me up how excited they all were, and I loved sitting back to observe.
After a bit, I suggested we play a sound matching game with the seeds. I explained that each container had a match somewhere, and it was their job to figure out the matches by listening to the seeds. Right away, they each picked up a container and started shaking.
It took them a few minutes to realize this wouldn’t work – when 3 containers shook at the same time, it was hard for their ears to make a match. Once they took turns listening and matching, the game went better. Snoopy and Engineer were SO focused on finding the seed matches! Little Hurricane was just happy to play with the shakers. In the end, we were able to match 3 pairs, but 2 of the pairs gave us some trouble.
The children used their sense of hearing to make a wide variety of observations about the seeds. Here are a few:
- “No, that one doesn’t match! It doesn’t sound like the seeds are big enough.”
- “This one sounds like it has teeny tiny seeds in it. I wonder what kind of seeds they are.”
- “It sounds like a tambourine!”
- “This one sounds like it has a lot of seeds in it.”
For Next Time
This matching game went over even better than I expected! When we finished, both of the other boys asked when we could play it again. For next time, I’ll make sure the sounds are distinct enough to tell the difference. The 2 pairs that gave us trouble just sounded way too alike! When I’d tested the seed shakers beforehand, I was able to tell the difference, but I’ll still change them up next time.
With younger children, like those in my preschool class, I would start with only 2 or 3 pairs of seeds. Then we’d add more depending on the students’ interests.
Have you ever played a sound matching game with your kiddos? How did it go?
Be sure to check out all of the other auditory posts for 6 Days of Sensory Play! While you’re there, check out the previous days as well. There are some amazing activities!