The Power of Parenting

Thursday, 04 June 2020

Mix and Match Sound Shakers

Age Range: 19 months to 5 years

These shakers will encourage children to use their ears to notice different sounds. Toddlers can shake them to make music, while older preschoolers will enjoy the challenge of discovering which sounds are alike. Whether you are making music or matching sounds, you and your child will enjoy some Comfort, Play & Teach™ time!


You will need:
  • Empty film canisters, half of them black and the other half clear
  • Things to put inside them (rice, dried corn, paper clips, salt, marbles, small jingle bells)
  • Stickers



Make up to ten matching pairs of black and clear film canisters. Have your child participate in filling each one up part way with different sound-making items (e.g., salt, rice, etc.) so they can become familiar with what is making the sound. Ensure that the lids are firmly glued or taped on. This will keep the contents inside once your child begins shaking the containers to explore individual sounds and to discover which ones are similar. To help your child find the pairs independently, put matching stickers on the bottom of each pair of canisters. Then your child can confirm that they have found those that go together.


Enjoy this more with Comfort, Play & Teach™:

Comfort: Play a matching game with your child! Take turns shaking the canisters, trying to guess what is making the sound. Praise your child's efforts, telling them how well they can identify the sounds, or what strong shakers they are! This will encourage them, and help them develop pride in their ability.

Play: These shakers can be used in many creative ways. As children explore the sounds, they can keep the beat to favourite songs or rhymes. The canisters can also be used as building materials (e.g., for stacking or lining up). Encourage your child's open-ended exploration. They will naturally make discoveries about the sounds as they play.

Teach: Using the shakers can help children develop many skills, such as listening, sound recognition and discrimination, and matching (both aurally and visually). Explain to your child how their ears work, and talk about the different kinds of sounds there are, and what kinds of things make sounds.