Toddler Activity: Sound Shakers!

Open and Close (the early set)

As I approach my 36 week home visit with my midwife, I feel the full reality of the upcoming homebirth. My daughter (and the rest of us) will have much adjusting to do once a new baby comes. To ease the transition for her and to create a stimulating environment even if I’m occupied with a newborn, I wanted to create some of activities for her to do.

I made a developmental play resource list in Better Mom activities post. (There are some easy and awesome ideas in there!) She still likes to play with the open and close activity that I shared photos of in my Better Mom update post.

Last night, I finally got the sound shakers together. I did one set of loud/soft shakers and one set of Montessori-inspired sound boxes (a matching activity). I spent a few months gathering containers I thought would work well. (I’m weird and like things to be the same, even if they are recycled jars or whatnot. Especially with matching sounds — materials make a difference!)

Self-checking Matching Shakers

I used dried black beans, rice, salt, oats, dried coconut flakes, lentils and peppercorns. I tried to make sure they were distinctive enough to be effective (loud or soft or different from the others). I only made three sounds for the matching activity so far. I need more containers and then will use a different material, such as a big acorn or something, to get another distinct sound. I kind of wonder if over time her auditory sense will be sensitive enough that she will be able to detect more subtle differences in the sounds. I am thinking she will if she is interested enough.

All in all, aside from the container gathering, it was another simple and quick activity to get together. Plus, I really got two activities out of it because the loud-soft and matching are two different skills. Sound shakers are perfect for toddlers. I am hopeful that my daughter will find joy and satisfaction in the exploration of and play with these simple learning tools.

The Loud Bunch (peppercorns, lentils, black beans)

The Soft Bunch (oats, rice, salt)

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by anita on December 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    How about chick peas?


    • Thought about those, actually! Didn’t have any, though, and didn’t want a lack of materials to cause procrastination……

      Dried chickpeas, seeds, large nuts — these are some things I am still thinking about….


  2. Posted by Ciara on December 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Sheila, thanks for sharing this idea! I asked my sister to make a set of loud/soft shakers for A for Christmas.


  3. […] Sound Shakers — not such a hit with my daughter…yet? […]


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