Under-threes play ideas - sounds

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Sensory explorations with shakers and drums



  • Create shakers filled with small beads, pulses, rice, buttons, etc
  • Let the children spoon beans, beads, etc into pencil cases then secure the zip with tape.
  • Sew bells onto shower scrunchies or string.
  • Thread string through a large aluminium dish and secure beads to the ends.
  • Place small items inside the balloons before you blow them up, so that the balloons make a noise when the children shake, hit or kick them. For example, try dried beans, dried peas, sand, small bells or sugar.

Bang the drums

  • Gather four large containers, one wooden, one metal, one plastic and one woven basket.
  • Gather a selection of utensils or beaters such as wooden and metal spoons, spatulas, ladles, whisks and so on.
  • Place the 'drums' on the floor so the baby can experiment with them, with you sitting nearby at all times.
  • Choose one of the utensils and gently tap it against a 'drum', then repeat with each container.
  • Encourage the baby to choose a beater and tap the 'drums'.
  • Use a metal against metal, wood against wood.
  • Gently scrape the utensils on the bowls and encourage the baby to bang, scrape and tap each drum.

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