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Three Preschool Sensory Activities that Explore Sound

Three Preschool Sensory Activities that Explore Sound

Did you know that sensory play lays an important foundation for your child’s learning? It encourages brain development, open-ended thinking, fine motor skill building, and even language learning. We’ve rounded up three of our favourite sensory activities to help preschoolers explore sounds and engage their sense of hearing — all you need are a few household objects. Besides, who doesn’t love making some noise.


1. Egg Shaker Matching Game

This fun and simple activity turns listening into a game and helps preschoolers refine their sense of hearing while promoting problem-solving skills.

What you’ll need:

  • Six plastic eggs in two different colours for a total of twelve eggs (e.g. six purple, six orange)
  • Small objects that make noise. Some good options include:
  • Small jingle bells
  • Buttons
  • Pennies
  • Broken crayons
  • Paper clips

What to do:

  1. Fill pairs of eggs with different items so that there is one egg of each colour filled with the exact same noisy object. For example, there should be one purple egg with rice and one orange egg with rice, and so on. Tape the eggs shut to prevent peeking or spilling.
  2. Have your preschooler listen to an egg of one colour and try to find its match in the other set of eggs. For example, have them listen to one purple egg, then try to find its match in the orange eggs. This game can also be done with siblings to encourage social-emotional skills and negotiation.

2. Rain Maker

This craft is easy to make at home with a few household supplies and creates a beautiful rain maker that preschoolers love to tip back and forth.

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard paper towel roll
  • Paper bag
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • 1 cup small rocks, beads, or a mix of both
  • Paper
  • Markers

What to do:

  1. Cut out a circle from a paper bag that's slightly larger than the circumference of your paper tower roll. Trace the paper towel roll in the middle of your circle. Then, cut out about 4 equally spaced slits from the edge of the paper bag circle to your traced circle.
  2. Fold up your paper bag circle over your cardboard roll. Use masking tape to attach your circle to your cardboard tube and seal off an end.
  3. Rip out a sheet of aluminum foil that's about three times as long your tube. Scrunch the aluminum foil into a long snake (your child can help with this fun task). Then, fold it back and forth, creating a bunch of kinks in a zigzag (this will slow down the fall of your rice or corn to make it sound more like a real rain stick). When you're done, slide the foil snake into your tube.
  4. Pour the rice or corn (or a mix of both) into your cardboard tube. Then seal the other end following the same directions found in steps one and two.
  5. Now it's time to decorate your rainmaker. Cut out a piece of paper that will cover your cardboard tube. Doodle a design, tape it around your tube, and you’ll have a lovely rainmaker that creates a soothing pitter-patter sound.

3. “Guess the Sound” Jars

A simpler version of the plastic egg activity, you only need one container for this fun guessing game that will engage your child’s sense of hearing.

What you’ll need:

  • Opaque jar or container, like a yogurt tub
  • Variety of small items (e.g. salt, jewelry, rubber bands, coins, buttons,  bouncy balls)

What to do:

  1. Fill your jar with a small object that makes noise when you shake it. If you have more than one container, you can set up multiple containers with different objects.
  2. Ask your child to guess which object is making noise. Then hide a different object in the container and repeat as many times as they’re willing to guess. This is also a great opportunity to expand vocabulary if you and your child try to describe each sound with words like rattling, ringing, loud, soft, etc.
  3. Enjoy this fun game together with your preschooler!

Learning is fun with these simple but engaging sensory activities. Want even more great early literacy activities you can do at home? Be sure to check out Your Library at Home for more resources like these.

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