The Sound Chart for Kids activity helps learn how to identify sounds and different characteristics of each sound. The basic characteristics we’re going to look at:
- Loudness: Loud, medium or soft/quiet (medium is speaking voice level)
- High frequency, low or mid-range (middle)
- Short vs long length (a clap versus singing a note)
There’s a few ways to come up with the sounds to use on the chart.
- Collect objects to use. These could be anything from musical instruments to every day objects. Kitchen items are good – things like pots and pans, utensils, and appliances (just be careful they aren’t too loud when you’re using them as a game). Blow dryers, mechanical toys, bells and whistles (literally)… there’s a lot of options.
- Impromptu sounds. This would probably be easier to do outside than inside. Sounds like cars, birds, wind, other animals or people would all work.
- Recorded sounds. You can download free sounds from sites like Freesound.org, BBC Sound Effects, or Sound Bible. Recordings work best when you are using speakers that can reproduce a full-range of frequencies, so ideally not a tablet or phone.
Then, we’re going to use a chart that has a list for each sound then each characteristic. The idea is to check off the characteristics for each sound. For example, a mouse squeak could be quiet, high frequency, and short in length.
If you want to take it a step further, look at how sound changes through walls, doors, windows, etc. For example, how does a sound change when you’re hearing through a closed door vs an opened one? Is It louder or softer? Do you hear more low frequencies or high frequencies? What if you’re facing towards the sound vs facing away? There’s a lot of ways to expand this.