Preschool sounds theme and activities: homeschool ideas

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.

Toddler preschool sounds theme and activities for homeschool - ideas for sensory play. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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.

Homeschool preschool sounds activities and ideas for sensory play for toddlers - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Jingle Bell Sorting

The second I put these shiny jingle bells and tongs down, all the preschoolers swarmed the table.

Sounds theme and activities for homeschool preschool: Jingle bell fine motor sorting. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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.

Sounds theme and activities for homeschool preschool: making a DIY drum

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.

5 senses homeschool preschool activities: exploring sound through jingle bracelets and 4 other ideasSounds activities - jingle bell bracelet for 5 senses lessons. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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!

Bubble wrap dance party from Catherine Ryan Gregory on Vimeo.

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.

5 senses sounds theme and activities: bubble wrap dance party for preschoolers. Ten Thousand Hour MamaHomeschool preschool sounds theme and activities: learning about hearing through bubble wrap. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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.

For ideas on homeschool activities, curriculum and tips, see all my posts on homeschool preschool

12 thoughts on “Preschool sounds theme and activities: homeschool ideas

    • December 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Aw thanks Erin! You’re welcome to come over and play anytime. 😉

  • December 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I love all of these ideas! But I have to admit that the bubble wrap party is definitely my favorite of the bunch. I’m trying it out as soon as I get my hands on some!

    • December 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Great Sahar! If you don’t have any, I’m sure friends or neighbors will get some with the holidays and all the shipping coming up!

    • December 6, 2017 at 10:14 am

      It was just as fun for the grown-ups as the kids!

  • December 6, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Motherhood is outside my wheelhouse, but I do have a good friend with a toddler and I’ll have to tell her about your ideas. I’m fascinated by how useful jingle bells can be outside of their classically intended use (19th century sleighs and Christmas). And I think even I could have fun at a bubble wrap party! Have you heard that they are starting to make bubble wrap that doesn’t pop?!? Blasphemy.
    Meg recently posted…Santa Slice at Sizzle Pie Is BackMy Profile

    • December 6, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks Marlynn! Hit me up if you’re ever in need of a grown-up version of the bubble wrap dance party. 🙂

    • December 6, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Truth be told, I loved it too!!!

  • December 6, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Such great ideas, my kiddies would love love the bubble wrap. You have such a great imagination and are so creative. Wish we lived closer, my kiddies would love to join in the fun.


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