Monday, October 15, 2012

What's in the Castle? - Sound Identification Game

"What's in the Castle?" is a Montessori-inspired sound-matching game which my 3-year-olds absolutely LOVE!  It challenges them to isolate their sense of hearing to identify sounds of various animals, objects, and musical instruments...

To play this game, gather up a collection of toys and find their corresponding sounds - you can use their real sounds if they make a sound (squeaky toys, rattles, pots, real instruments), but I use an app called Sound Touch on my Kindle which has sounds of animals, vehicles, household objects, and instruments, or free sound clips downloaded on my laptop.

Have your kids sit on the opposite side of the toy castle (or dollhouse, puppet theater curtain, or cardboard box with a door cut out).  My kids were so excited about playing this that they had a hard time sitting in their chairs and not peeking behind the castle! Put a toy behind the castle door and play the corresponding sound.  When the sound is over, ask "What/who is in the castle?", and let your child guess:

The best part for the kids is getting to open the door and see if they were correct (there's just something about the element of surprise that kids just love):

Some of the sounds, even of objects that were familiar, were fairly challenging; A pig doesn't really sound like 'oink oink' and a frog doesn't sound like 'croak'; Can you tell the difference between  police/ambulance/firetruck sirens?  There are a lot of creative variations you can do with this game.

Today I am taking the twins to a special orchestra experience for kids, so yesterday we played the castle game with musical instruments.  First I played the sound of each instrument for the kids.  We named the instruments as we examined the models (from a Toob), listened and tried to describe the sound (is the pitch high or low, is it a string instrument or do you blow in it, etc..)

We also listened to Peter and the Wolf and tried to hear the various instrument sounds.  Then we repeated the "What's in the Castle?" game with instruments:

This was a very difficult game, and would probably be a challenge for older kids as well.  Even Mommy had some trouble telling the difference between certain instruments. We'll definitely be playing more of this in the future, because I think it's a wonderful way to really fine-tune your hearing skills to distinguish the subtle tone differences between instruments.  So much fun!

Montessori Monday

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