Here's what you need: twelve identical film canisters (they must be identical - and black!) and some dry goods out of your pantry. I used some whole nutmeg, dried lima beans, dried black beans, dried split peas, rice, and sesame seeds. Your local film developer will be more than happy to share their recycled film canisters. They gave me forty easily - and if you actually go and ask them for some, get more than twelve - I'll show you something else to do with them later! You can also have a rug or towel to control your "area".
Here's why you should do it: This activity helps with auditory discrimination - that is, it helps your child listen closely to the sounds around them and become aware of slight differences. You can also add some language to this activity - louder, softer, etc.
First, I had Lawton help me assemble the shakers. We filled each pair half way full with a dry good. (2 with nutmeg, 2 with rice, 2 with black beans, etc.) Only fill them half way full so that they can actually shake and then snap the lid on tight. (We had split peas fly across the kitchen - and Carolina shoving them in her mouth as we scrambled to sweep them up . . . yowsa!) Put a sticker or a mark on the top of one of each pair.
Now, watch this video and we'll catch up at the end! (click on the words momtessori shakers and it will take you there . . . I had quite a time getting this to work!)
momtessori shakers from Laura Beth High on Vimeo.
Here's the recap!
- Choose one shaker from the "control" group and then go through the other group one at a time until a match is made. Put the matching pair at the top of the rug.
- You really don't have to (shouldn't) talk during this activity. This way your child can focus only on the sound of the shakers.
If you want to step it up a notch: Grade the sounds - that is, take one of each pair and arrange them from loudest to softest. Then add the language - "this is soft, this is louder, this is louder, this is louder, this is louder, this is loudest." or "This is loud, this is softer, this is softer, this is softer, this is softer, this is softest."
If you want to take it down a notch: (for the younger child) only use three pairs at first, (example: the sesame seeds, the black beans and the nutmeg)