This is the second installment in our series “Plastic Easter Eggs 3 Ways.” Easter was this past Sunday, so you’re probably just cleaning up and putting away your Easter decorations and that probably includes quite a few of these!
This sensorial activity focuses on auditory memory and discrimination. It is officially called “Sound Boxes” in traditional Montessori theory, however for our purposes we’ll call it:
Listening comprehension and auditory memory are both critical skills in early literacy development. This is a fantastic and fun way to begin honing these skills with your Little, and you can probably create it entirely out of what’s in your home right now!
Sound Egg Supplies:
- 12 plastic Easter eggs-standard size (preferably 6 in one color and 6 in another color)
- Glue gun or super glue
- Tape (any type will work)
- Uncooked rice
- Dried beans
- Dried barley
- Dried lentils or peas
- Course sand and fine sand OR
- Course sand and flour
This activity is designed for Littles 36 months and up, however, scroll down to the bottom of the presentation for some modifications if you’d like to present it to a younger Little.
Before you begin, check your Easter eggs. Many plastic eggs have holes poked into them. Use your tape, on the inside of the eggs, to tape up the holes. I use about a 1 inch piece to cover both holes in the bottom of each egg.
I chose to use yellow and blue eggs, but this activity typically uses cylinders with red and blue tops. Go as “traditional” as you’d like. I’ll be referring to “yellow” and “blue” eggs from here on out.
Add 2 teaspoons of rice to a yellow egg. Close the egg and use your hot glue gun to run a thin bead of glue along the outside seam, sealing the egg closed. For super glue, keep the egg open and run a thin bead along the inside of the egg. Close to seal. Repeat these steps with a blue egg.
Next, add 30 beans to a yellow egg and seal as above. Repeat with a blue egg.
Continue in this fashion adding 2 teaspoons each of barley, sand, and/or flour and 60 peas to 1 yellow and 1 blue egg.
Sound Eggs Formal Presentation:
- 12 sound eggs
- Egg carton
Traditionally, this activity is stored in two boxes. Since these are eggs, I think it’s more fun to store them in an egg carton!
Arrange the yellow eggs so that the loudest one (the beans) and the softest one (the flour/fine sand) are in a place you remember within the carton.
Call your Little over, have them sit next to you, and tell them this activity is called “Sound Eggs.” Then, no more talking during the presentation.
Carefully and gracefully pick up the loudest yellow egg and place it on the workmat in front of you. Show your Little the proper way to hold the sound egg- with index finger and thumb on top and bottom of egg. Holding it a few inches away from your ear, give the egg 2 sharp, downward shakes. Then hold the egg near your other ear, and repeat the 2 shakes. Place the egg back down on the mat.
Invite your Little to shake the loudest egg in the exact same manner as you just demonstrated.
Place this loud yellow egg on the left side of the workmat.
Carefully and gracefully pick up the softest yellow egg and place it on the workmat in front of you again. Repeat the shaking routine described above and have your Little do the same.
Repeat with each of the other yellow eggs, creating a cluster, in no particular order, on the left side of the mat.
Show your Little the blue eggs remaining in the carton. Tell them, “These sound the same as the yellow eggs.” Arrange them in a cluster on the right side of the workmat.
Choose any yellow egg and put it in front of yourself. Then take any blue egg and set it to the right of the yellow egg. Shake the yellow egg as described above followed by the blue egg. If they sound dissimilar in pitch or sound, place the blue egg back in the carton. Repeat until a blue matching egg is found. Say, “These sound the same.”
Line up the matched pair inside the carton. Remove the unmatched blue egg(s) from the carton and place them back in the group on the right side of the workmat.
Allow your Little to choose a yellow egg. You continue to demonstrate the process until all eggs have a match. After a match is found, have your Little shake and listen to them one at a time and place the set inside the egg carton, creating two columns.
When every egg has been matched, shake each pair in turn, one egg at a time, starting with the eggs furthest from you. Then, invite your Little to do the same.
Mix up the eggs, and allow your Little a chance to complete this activity independently.
Remember to show your Little how to clean up this activity as well as where it is stored. Independence and care of the environment is just as important a part of this activity as the egg matching itself!
Modified Presentation for Younger Littles:
My LO is only 24 months. Obviously, this activity would be way too challenging for her. Instead, I chose to present only three sets of eggs which showed a great variance in sound and pitch. I presented flour, beans, and rice. You could also choose to present a smaller number of eggs but with sounds which are more similar. Select the level of modification which is right for your Little!
As always, thanks for visiting! How did this activity go for you? What do you think will be your Little’s favorite part? My little loves placing the eggs into the carton and closing the lid after every match! Can’t wait to hear how this went for you and your family!