Today we are joined by Helen from Witty Hoots as part of our Five Senses Play Challenge. Helen is a former primary school teacher and art historian. She writes for Witty Hoots which is a family focused blog. Her children love playing and learning at the same time. Since her daughter started school in September, Helen has been keen to balance her school time with play sessions that allow her to explore, learn and just have fun. Helen’s eldest child has a keen interest in music and hope to study music at University. She continues to explore sounds, music and movement and share this through her blog. Witty Hoots continues our Sense of Hearing week.
Something that has interested me for many years is the sense of hearing. Having been brought up with music from a young age myself and now having one child about to go to university to study music, I must admit this is one of our favourites to explore!
One of the first things we do as parents is to sing silly songs to our children, jiggling them to the musict and teaching them to clap their hands to the beat of the song. A natural continuation is to start shaking or banging things to the rhythm of the song or a piece of music.
We decided to encourage our daughter to extend her exploration of sounds through making some musical shakers and rain makers of her own. Not only would this be a great craft activity but would also let her understand the different sounds that materials can make, as well as allowing her to make as much music (noise) as she wanted to!
Materials we needed:
* Cardboard tubes, cellophane, sticky tape, washi tape, glitter, ribbons and crunched up balls of paper.
* Plus a selection of shaker fillers which included pasta, rice, glitter stars, foam shapes and cake decorations.
How we made our musical shakers:
We took different sized plastic glasses and added some shaker fillers. For the smaller shakers we added cake decorations and for the larger shaker we added pasta, rice, foam shapes and glitter stars. Finally we put another cup on top of the one containing the shaker filler. We fixed them together with sticky tape but if you wanted a more permanent seal then use glue. Finally we decorated the seal with ribbon and glitter.
How we made our rain makers:
We secured some cellophane over one end of a cardboard tube with sticky tape. We then filled our rain maker with a handful of rice. We then added the crunched up paper balls until the rain maker was three quarters full. We then covered the other end with cellophane and secured it with sticky tape. Finally we added ribbons for decoration.
Exploring sounds with our musical shakers and rain makers:
The musical shakers could be shaken in a rhythm, patted, slapped and knocked. The sound changed if we covered the musical shaker with our hands. We explored loud and fast sounds as well as slow and quiet sounds. We then challenged ourselves to make loud, slow sounds and quiet fast sounds. With the rain makers we found that the soft hissing noise was very quiet and we began using them as a background noise to the shakers.
We also went from quiet to very loud and back to quiet sounds. Finally our daughter began experimenting by shaking the sounds behind her, to the sides and in front of her before twirling around to see if that would make a difference to what she could hear!
All in all we had a wonderful time creating our shakers and rain makers and our daughter has even started to start basic conducting skills by using signs and gestures to make us play faster, slower, louder and quieter too!
Thank you to Witty Hoots for sharing their home made musical instruments to explore the sense of hearing. This guest post is part of our Five Senses Play Challenge, for the sense of hearing. Click here for more hearing activity inspiration.
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