Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Exploring our Sense of Hearing

We explored our sense of hearing!

Outdoor - Sound Walk - guide the children in becoming still, closing their eyes, and listening for sounds for 30 seconds. Then try for 1 minute. Go longer if they are attentive. My two year old daughter loves this game. We will walk through our woods and stop and listen for sounds. She loves to be the first to point out a woodpecker or identify another sound in nature!

Before going on the sound walk, read aloud the wonderful book The Listening Walk by Paul Showers.

Active Game - Bells on Boots - tie a jingle bell onto each child's boot laces. Then have the children dance, hop, stomp, and walk around the courtyard. Try a game of hide-and-seek with the bells on and talk about why it's easy to find other kids when their bells shake.
An easy way to make these is to use small jingle bells, thread a twist tie through the whole on top, and then twist onto shoe laces. I find if you put the bell on the child's zipper pull they will hold it and muffle the sound...which could be a whole other type of learning.

Art: Rain Sticks using paper towel tubes that have tape on one end, let the children fill their tube with dried beans using a wide mouth funnel. Then the adult helps close the other end with tape. Paint, collage, or draw onto the paper tubes. Later add mod podge to make them more durable.
Smaller ones could be made using toilet paper tubes but they have less of a 'rain stick' feel.
If you are making these with just one or two children, you might consider poking toothpicks or popsicle sticks into the sides of the tube so that the 'rainfall' is even more pronounced! Just be sure to cover with felt or card stock so the sticks don't pop back out.

Guided Activity -- Matching Sound Eggs Game: Make two each of the sound eggs (plastic Easter eggs) before the children arrive. Children shake them and try to find the two that match. Contents include: dry beans, coins, corn kernels, salt, cotton balls, and paper clips.
Another option would be to use one container that was see-through and one that was not. Then the kids would have to match the sound but wouldn't have to open the containers. This year I had salt spilled everywhere and the some of the coins disappeared, so this second option may have worked better.

Water Table: add objects that make noise. I took a variety of clear plastic containers and filled them with various objects (dice, sand, rice, mini jingle bells, beans, and cotton balls). Then I sealed them with bright orange electrical tape and asked the kids to keep them sealed. The kids had fun scooping them out of the water and shaking them. Making matching pairs would have been another idea!

Sensory Table- dried beans as base, small container (plastic & tin) for the kids to scoop and fill, and then close to make shakers.
One another day try adding a variety of crunchy & noisy objects - cellophane, wax paper, bubble wrap, painted paper.

Writing Center - my class didn't have the dexterity to do this but at home my son used my paper crimper to make textured papers. I have a set of three crimpers and he discovered that each one makes a different sound! What other ideas could I use for incorporating SOUND into the writing center?

Science Center = “Sound Station” - set of hand bells, clear rain stick, toy cell phone, cat “meow” toy, wooden xylophone, wind chimes, jingle bells of various sizes. This station was highly engaging for the preschoolers. Just this activity alone would have been enough for exploring our sense of hearing!

Closing Circle - Show a picture of the inside of the ear & explain briefly how our ears work.

One important thing about our sense of hearing is learning how to change the volume of our voice, especially when we are indoors. Can you show me your indoor voice, how about your whisper voice, and your outdoor voice?

Read aloud, Listening Time by Elizabeth Verdick (explains how to be a good listener at rug time) and reinforce how our sense of hearing is important in being a good listener, especially at circle time! 

Books for the sense of hearing:

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bil Martin & Eric Carle
The Ear Book by Al Perkins
Listening Time by Elizabeth Verdick (explains how to be a good listener at rug time)
The Listening Walk by Paul Showers

Additional Activities:

Follow that Noise- the adults in the room each have some sort of noise maker in their pocket. The adults spread out, kids close their eyes, and one adult makes a noise. The kids are told to open their eyes and walk to the adult who they think made the sound. Once there they guess the sound. (Try: cricket clicker, jingle bell, ring tone on a cell phone)
Guess My Sound - With their eyes closed, the adult makes a sound and the child guesses what made the noise. Try: clap, stomp, pretend sneeze, snap, whistle, cough. Instead of guessing the sound the kids could mimic the sound.

CD or recording of common sounds - play the recording and have the kids guess the sound.

Bubble Wrap Walk

Repeat my beat - using claps and taps create a variety of rhythms.
If doing an Eric Carle author study --- Read Aloud: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? 

On-line inspiration for teaching about Sound & Hearing

Sound cups activity & kids making their own sound cups:  http://www.playbasedlearning.com.au/2010/08/sound-cups/

Water & Music Play 

5 Listening Games - http://childhood101.com/2011/02/literacy-spot-7-five-simple-listening-games/


  1. Thanks so much for sharing. The whole series on 5 senses is wonderful. Great ideas!

  2. These are wonderful ideas! I especially love the outdoors connections and the matching sounds inside eggs! Thank you so much for linking up at Teach Me Tuesday!

  3. Great ideas for sense of hearing!

  4. I would love to pin this on Pinterest, but it needs an image to pin it.

    1. Bummer! Me too! Thanks for all the great ideas, though...We're going through the senses and haven't done hearing yet, so I'm going to have to just try to remember these =)

  5. I'll add some photos this weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. The kids at my daughter's preschool were learning about their senses this week. I teach baby sign language classes and was asked to give a short presentation about sign language. I had the kids put their hands tight over their ears and spoke some words. I then told them to take their hands off of their ears (by taking my hands off my ears) and then explained about if a person is deaf they cannot hear like we can hear. I told the kids if they ever met a child who could not hear, they could still play with the child. I taught them the signs for FRIEND, PLAY, PLEASE, THANK YOU, SHARE, YOUR TURN, and MY TURN. We then sang the corresponding Signing Time song using those signs. My hope is that the kids will walk right up to any deaf child they meet and ask them to play!

    Megan McWilliams
    Teddies and Duckies Signing

  7. Wowza! What a GREAT line-up of activities about hearing! Thanks SO much for joining the Kids Co-Op linky! (And I agree with Keitha ... I want to pin the post!!!)

  8. Discover a Surefire Method to Teach Your Child to Read

    There are many different methods and opinions on how to teach a child to read - while all are well-intentioned, some methods could actually lead to reading difficulties in children. Learning to read is a critical step towards future academic success and later on success in life. If you cannot read, you cannot succeed. There is an amazingly simple method - actually, a combination of two methods - that can teach anyone to read, even children as young as 2 and 3 years old.

    The combination of these two methods has been used in the Children Learning Reading program to successfully teach thousands of young children to read. So what are these methods?

    It is the combination of synthetic phonics and phonemic awareness. Most have probably heard of phonics, but phonemic awareness is a concept less well known and ?it's not something you hear about often. Certainly, phonics is absolutely necessary to develop fluent reading skills; however, there are different types of phonics including embedded, analogy, analytical, and synthetic phonics. While using some type of phonics is better than not including any phonics instructions at all, you will achieve FAR BETTER results by employing synthetic phonics, which is by far the most easy and effective method for teaching reading. Multiple studies support this.

    In a 7 year study conducted by the Scottish Education Department, 300 students were taught using either analytic phonics or synthetic phonics. The results found that the synthetic phonics group were reading 7 months ahead and spelling 8 to 9 months ahead of the other phonics groups. At the end of the 7 year study, the children were reading 3.5 years ahead of their chronological age.

    Very impressive!

    Through their amazing reading program, the creators (Jim & Elena - parents of 4 children and reading teachers) have taught all of their children to read phonetically by 3 years old and have helped thousands of parents to successfully teach their children to read as well! Some are small 2 or 3 year old toddlers, others are young 4 or 5 year old preschoolers, and still others at ages 6, 7, 8 or even older.

    >> Click here to watch amazing videos of young children reading, and see the amazing results so many parents are achieving with their children.

    The Children Learning Reading program works so well that many children will achieve reading ages far ahead of their chronological age.

    Take Jim & Elena's children as an example: their oldest child, Raine, was reading phonetically at 2 years 11 months old, and by the time she entered kindergarten at 5 years old, she was reading at a grade 5 level with a reading age of 11.9 years - almost 7 years ahead of her chronological age. Their second child, Ethan, learned to read phonetically by 2 years 9 months, and at age 3, he was reading at a grade 2 level with a reading age of 7.2 years - progressing at a similarly quick pace as his older sister. Find that hard to believe? You can watch the videos posted here.

    There are many different phonics programs out there, but rarely do you ever hear a mention of phonemic awareness (PA), and PA is absolutely an equally critical component to developing reading skills in children. What makes the Children Learning Reading program so unique and amazingly effective at teaching young children is that it seamlessly combines the teaching of synthetic phonics along with phonemic awareness to enable children to develop superb reading skills.

    >>> Click here to learn more about the Children Learning Reading program and teach your child to read today