Thursday 19 February 2015

Learning about the senses - Hearing


The next sense we learnt about in our discovery of the senses was the sense of hearing. This was such a great sense to explore. We were able to do a lot of fun activities about this topic. First we read the book 'Hear this!'. It is the next book in our senses series and had a lot of good activity ideas in it. We learnt about how we hear and about how sound waves travel through the air from the object making the sound to your ear where the sound is heard. D was fascinated by this and has been going around telling people about the sound waves in the air. 


This is the book we read. After this I asked the children to close their eyes and see if they could work out where I was when I walked around the room. I walked, then stopped and asked if they could point to me by listening to where the sound of my voice was coming from. They thought this activity was great fun and after they had had a few attempts at listening D said it was my turn to listen! So I sat down and tried to work out where she was from listening to the direction her voice was coming from.


We spoke about which sounds we can hear outside.


And which sounds we can hear inside.


We spoke about different pitches of sound, how some sound high pitched and some sound low pitched. I set up this activity for the children to explore pitch. Simply fill some glasses with different amounts of water, get a metal spoon, hit the glasses and listen to the sounds. I asked the children to listen to the sounds carefully and tell me which sounded high and which sounded low.


They really enjoyed this homemade musical instrument!


We talked about different volumes and D told me things that sound loud and things that sound quiet. She started to write the words down herself but quickly got bored of writing so I finished the writing for her.


Next, we moved onto vibrations and learnt how sound waves vibrate to produce sound. I followed the guidelines in the book to set up this activity. Take a bowl and place some clingfilm very tightly over the top. Then scatter some rice on top of the clingfilm. Use the wooden spoon to bang the sandwich tin close to the bowl but not touching it. You should be able to see the rice jump around due to the vibrations. 


We started off with quite a lot of rice on top but discovered it didn't work too well. So, we took some off and it worked much better. Wowever, it still was not moving too much so I decided to try something else; salt.


The salt is much lighter so jumped about much more easily. The children loved watching this. They loved to make the salt 'dance'!



Afterwards we spoke about the sound waves and how they vibrate. We filled in this worksheet.


The final activity we did was perhaps the favourite. I got some musical instruments and placed them on the floor. Next, I covered the instruments with a blanket. I played one instrument at a time and , after playing, I took the blanket away and asked the children which instrument I had just played. This is a really great activity to get your child practising their listening skills. It also involves sound discrimination which is a vital skill for speech development. You need to be able to distinguish between sounds in order to be able to produce them correctly as well as being able to distinguish between different words that you hear.

Check out these posts to see how we learnt about the sense of touch, taste, smell and sight.



  1. Such a great idea, I hadn't thought of doing something like this but I will now.

    Hugs Michelle ||

    1. Doing practical activities is a great way of making learning fun :)

  2. This looks like great fun, i may have to give this a try. :)

  3. This is really clever. I need to teach my oldest daughter about pitch so she can tune her guitar. x

    1. That's a great idea. You need a very good sense of pitch to be able to tune an instrument.

  4. My little boy loves playing with musical instruments and making different sounds x

  5. I remember doing something similar when I was doing my teacher training. A great activity to learn about sound and musical instruments.

  6. I love the activities you have been doing to track the senses - lots of fun.



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