Plenty of attention gets paid to sensory play these days—a quick dip in Pinterest turns up slime recipes, scented cornmeal and even instructions on how to dye spaghetti noodles for a squishy bucket of fun. Yet hearing is one sense that is often neglected in sensory play. At a recent homeschool preschool meeting, then, I focused on a sounds theme and activities—and it was a roaring success.
With this theme and sounds activities, the kiddos engaged their sense of hearing at every turn. They also practiced fine motor skills, creativity, gross motor skills—and had an absolute blast doing it.
Whether you do a homeschool preschool for your kids or just want some sensory play that engages your kids ears, the sounds theme and activities here will be an absolute delight.
Homeschool preschool sounds theme
To start, introduce the kids in your homeschool preschool to the theme. You can briefly talk about the 5 senses—sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing—before focusing on the sounds theme. “Today we’re going to use our ears and focus on hearing,” I told our group.
Kids use their ears all the time: to listen to music, to locate a plane in the air, to identify an animal, to follow (or ignore) instructions. Hearing may come so naturally that they don’t even think about how awesome sounds are. But they’re about to fall in love with this excellent example of the 5 senses with the preschool sounds theme.
Homeschool preschool sounds activities
We did a whole series of preschool sounds activities, but you could also do these one at a time.
Jingle Bell Sorting
The second I put these shiny jingle bells and tongs down, all the preschoolers swarmed the table.
Simply fill a bowl with jingle bells of different sizes and colors (I got a bunch at the Dollar Store) and set out pinchers or tongs and some small bowls. The kids will practice fine motor skills as they pick up bells with the pinchers and set them in smaller bowls.
To add sorting skills, which lays the foundation for understanding math later on, invite them to sort the jingle bells by color or size.
Make a DIY Drum
Kids love banging on pots and pans for an impromptu concert, but they might not know they can create a DIY drum using a few materials you already have in the kitchen.
Set out different sized bowls (glass and ceramic work much better than plastic). Then tightly fit plastic wrap over the top of the bowl, securing it with a rubber band. Set out hard plastic straws or a chopstick as drumsticks so the kids can bang away.
Invite them to listen to the different tones and pitches of the drums. Can older preschoolers notice a pattern of which drums sound low and which drums sound high?
Make a Jingle Bracelet
Using a pipe cleaner, beads and (yep!) more jingle bells, all the kids crafted their own bracelets. Kiwi in particular loved this preschool sounds activity: she was completely engrossed in fitting the beads onto the pipe cleaner.
Even better, the kids got to use their bracelets in the day’s final preschool sounds activity—the one that was the biggest hit of the day!
Preschooler Bubble Wrap Dance Party
This preschool sounds activity was THE MOST FUN activity we’ve done at home in ages. Honestly, I don’t know why we haven’t been dancing on bubble wrap for years!
I simply taped strips of bubble wrap onto our hardwood floor with painter’s tape, then turned on some dance tunes. At first the kids didn’t know what to make of it, but as soon as I jumped—and they heard the pop pop pop! of the bubble wrap—they were sold.
The kids spent the next half-hour jumping on the bubble wrap, and we couldn’t believe how long the strips lasted! When some of the kids got tired, they got down on their bellies for a closer examination—and of course explored the sounds the bubble wrap made as they popped the individual bubbles.
We moms joined the bubble wrap dance party too, of course, and we ended up having to open a few windows because we got so hot jumping and dancing!
Children’s books about sounds
We also did story time, when we read books that engaged the kids’ senses. Read my post on children’s books about sounds for ideas on what to buy or request from the library!
When you’re having fun with sensory play, don’t neglect your ears. The homeschool preschool sounds theme and activities to match are too much fun to miss.