Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to Make Montessori Sound Boxes

I have been itching to make a set of Montessori Sound Boxes for a while. We love love love to play matching/memory games and I was intrigued to see how she would do with a sound matching game. The Montessori Sound Boxes are a fantastic learning material that refines a child’s auditory sense and memory. They are perfect to make for your home as they can be done for free, and lend themselves very well to little helping hands. The stars aligned recently and we had a marvelous time (finally) making these together while the little man cub was taking a nap. (In reality he wasn’t sleeping, but talking to himself quietly in his own nonsense language tucked in snuggly in his bed…but we’ll count it as a rest!)

We collected black film canisters (those are getting harder to find in this digital age!!) from a local film development center. They are the perfect size and free! Actually the entire project cost us nothing as everything we used was something we had on hand.

To fill our canisters and give them sound we chose from the kitchen and studio a variety of noise makers. I was worried about sounds being too similar so tried to choose very different items. I forgot to consider sound gradation…but got very lucky with a very even gradation of different sounds!

We chose to use:

Whole allspice



Large Buttons

*There really is no end to the variety of things you can use. We plan to expand our collection once we have gathered more canisters. For our expansion set I’d like to try a ground herb, and (since we used plastic canisters) a liquid. I’m not sure what else…ideas?!?!!

Step 1.

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Step 2.

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Step 3.

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Step 4.

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Step 5.

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*We ended up gluing the tops shut as the little man cub is able to, and lacks the self control not to, open them and pour them out!!!

To present the sound boxes arrange them in random order in a line. Choose the first one and listen to its sound. Listen to the remanding boxes in the row in order to find the match. Set aside the match and repeat. To measure the gradation of sound listen to each pair in turn and arrange pairs in order of sound “volume”.

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