Age: 6-9 months
Goal: To develop listening skills and motor skills.
Materials: mat, a set of small containers filled with small objects (I used grits, rice, oats, and beans) tray or basket (for sound containers). Make sure the lid of the container is firmly sealed or glue/tape the lid secure. Choose containers that are identical and similar in shape, size, and color. I used small water bottles and wrapped a piece of cardstock around each to give them a more uniform and polished look.
- Prepare the work and get out the mat.
- Sit facing the child with the mat between you.
- Take the containers out of the basket , placing them in a row, and set the basket (or tray) aside.
- Moving from left to right, take one container at a time and shake it. Pause to smile at the child.
- Continue shaking the container, moving it close to the child’s hands so that he/she can grab it. Once the child is holding the container shake it together for a moment. Then release.
- When the child puts the container down pick up the next sound container and repeat. Do this with each container. Continue the activity for as long as the child remains interested.
- When the infant is finished, take him/her with you to return the work and mat to their proper place.
We really enjoy this activity. I think Joey does particularly because it makes a noise! He’ll pull the basket off the shelf and just begin shaking the containers. What I like about this activity is that you can vary the materials in the bottles. I have (from left to right in the picture) grits, oats, rice, and beans in the container which also happens to be the sound gradation for softest to loudest.
As Joey grows older this activity will become a precursor for the sound cylinders and we can began to order the containers for softest to loudest or loudest to softest. What’s fun is that even now he can tell there’s a difference in the sound each container makes!