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Make Some Noise: A Sensory Play Plan

New percussion instruments: caxixi, maracas, shaker & tambourine.
Photographer: Max Prieß | Source: Unsplash

This simple sound and sensory play activity is perfect for tracking the progress of younger children. It is best suited for smaller groups.

What you will need:

  • A variety of objects that make noise, for example:
  • Jingle bells (you can find some appropriate for younger children here)
  • A toy drum, or pans and wooden spoons
  • Crinkly wrapping paper
  • Dry pasta or rice in a plastic tub or bottle
  • Music, e.g. nursery rhymes or a nice thematic CD
Photo by Reynardo Etenia Wongso on Unsplash

Doing the activity:

Birth-26 months:

Show the objects to the children and demonstrate each sound. Observe their reactions – did they like it? Find it amusing? Make the sounds in various orders and volumes, observe their attention and note whether they are distracted or watching you.

8-26 months:

Talk to the children as they explore the objects. Do they want to jingle the bells, bang the drum or crunch the paper in their hands?

Once the children are familiar with the noises, play some music and observe whether this affects their interaction with the objects or not.

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Tracking the activity:

Birth-11 months

Communication and Language: Listening and attention; “Turns toward a familiar sound then locates range of sounds with accuracy.”

Understanding the world: The world; “Repeats actions that have an effect, e.g. kicking or hitting a mobile or shaking a rattle.”

8-20 months

Communication and Language: Listening and attention; “Moves whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.; Has a strong exploratory impulse.; Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods.”

Understanding the world: The world; “Closely observes what animals, people and vehicles do.; Knows things are used in different ways, e.g. a ball for rolling or throwing, a toy car for pushing.”

­­­­­­Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.; Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.; Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.; Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.”

16-26 months

Understanding the world: The world; “Explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking.”

­­­­­­Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.; Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.; Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.; Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.”