Guess the Sound (The Five Senses: Hearing)

Yesterday I shared our activity to learn about sight with your preschooler (Alphabet I Spy Bottle and Other Suggestions). Today we'll be bringing awareness to our sense of hearing by doing a fun guessing game.

Eggs filled with mystery objects for the sense of sound activity

If your curious, here's a quick rundown of how hearing in humans works. First, the part of the ear that we can see, called the pinna, focuses sound deeper into the ear. Sounds waves then travel through the ear canal to the eardrum. Three bones in the middle ear (known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup) help transmit the sound from the eardrum to the inner ear. The movement of tiny hairs in the spiral fluid filled cochlea vibrate and release neurotransmitters which travel along the auditory nerve to the brain. (Cool, right? For more information check out the Wikipedia article on hearing.

There are a lot of great options for teaching your preschooler about their sense of sound. Try making an instrument with them like a drum, flute, or rainstick.

Bring the sense of sound into your child's art by putting bells on a pencil or paintbrush. The bells make different sounds based on the movements they make with their writing implement. (Check out the full Drawing with Bells Activity). It invites exploration and experimentation in a very fun way. Another option is to give your child crayons and invite them to draw to the sounds of music.

Use bells as manipulatives to teach counting or addition!

The way I introduced sound for our five senses unit, was through a guessing game. I was first introduced to this activity in my methods of teaching science and math class in grad school (Although the containers we used in that class were film canisters, not Easter eggs). It was a huge hit with Little M.

Here Is What You Will Need to Do the Guessing Game with Your Preschooler

  • small opaque containers to hide the objects in
  • small objects to place in the containers (such as beans, paperclips, rice, oatmeal, and pom poms)

preschooler shaking the eggs to listen and find out what's inside

Playing the Sound Guessing Game with Your Child

Hide the objects, each in it's own container. Invite your child to hold the containers up to their ear and shake them. It was so much fun hearing her guesses (and I lost track of which egg was which, so I wasn't even sure what was in them). Her reaction to the egg filled with pom poms was surprise. “It's a very quiet sound!” she told me. I would recommend including at least one “quiet sound” when you play the game, as well.

Once the activity was done (or at least after I thought it was done) Little M. put the objects back in the eggs and played the game again. She experimented with object combinations to hear the different sounds. She delighted in placing two or three “mystery objects” in the eggs and then quizzing me. Even knowing the possibilities it was quite difficult differentiating between the objects on the basis of sound alone.

sound guessing game: preschool science of the sense of sound

Need a book to go with this activity? Check out the 5 Senses Book Roundup!

Thank you for reading about our sound activity during this week's 5 senses theme. Check back tomorrow to see how we learned about our sense of smell. If you enjoyed this activity, please share or comment. I'd love to hear from you!


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