Here’s a quick, easy, and inexpensive way (music to a teacher’s ears, right?) to create a great tool for incorporating music and auditory discernment. Whoa, back up the truck, what was that? “Auditory discernment” is the ability to hear the differences and similarities between two sounds. It can be as simple as hearing the difference between a bell ringing and a horn honking, but it’s also the groundwork for hearing the difference between the sounds in words, like the short e sound and the short i sound. Phonemic awareness is a critical reading skill, and it is completely auditory. So building auditory skills actually paves the way for reading skills. OK, so back to the project at hand!
You’ll be making a set of shaky eggs with different sounds to be matched by the children. If you haven’t made shaky eggs before, you really should- they’re so easy. I explained the process way back here. For this little project, make six different sets of eggs by using six different fillers. You might want bells, coins, rice, popcorn, salt, and beads – just to name six off the top of my head. Keep in mind that the amount in the egg affects the sound as well, so make pairs exactly the same, and consider differentiating pairs by having disparate amounts (one set with just one bead each, and another set with ten, for example). To simplify, you may want to use just two colors of eggs, so that each pair has one of each color. That just makes it easier for the children to match the sets, knowing they only have to check against six other eggs, not eleven.
Now that you have six sets, you have an even dozen and can use a clean egg carton for your case. Line up one color in one row and the other color in the other row. Have the children pick one egg, give it a shake, and listen. Then help the children shake the eggs in the other row, one at a time, until they find the other egg with the same sound. Once a pair is found, they can put them side by side in the same carton, or in a second egg carton to keep confusion down!
There you have it! I told you it was easy! It’s a great sensory matching exercise, and you can always use the eggs for music time as well!