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Montessori Materials Spotlight - Sound Cylinders Activity

The Sound Cylinders are a Montessori sensorial material that consists of a set of cylinders filled with different materials such as sand, water, or rice, each making a unique sound when shaken.

Purpose of this activity

It is to help children develop their auditory sense and discrimination, which is an important aspect of sensorial learning. By listening to the different sounds made by the cylinders, children are encouraged to refine their ability to detect, recognize, and differentiate between sounds. This helps to strengthen their overall perception of the world around them, and also lays a foundation for later skills such as musical ability, language development, and even reading and writing. Additionally, the activity helps to develop a child's concentration, attention to detail, and ability to work independently.

Materials needed for this activity:

Requires a set of Red and Blue Sound Cylinders and a child-sized table.

If you're making your own sound cylinders, you can use glass jars instead of wooden ones so that your child can see what's inside and hear the different noises. Make sure the contents of each jar are safe and do not present a choking hazard if your child is young.

When you're shaking the cylinders, it's important to hold them correctly so that your child can copy you. Use the same grip for each cylinder and shake it up and down a few times. To ensure the proper grasp and shaking technique, place your index finger on top of the cylinder, three fingers on one side, and your thumb on the other side.

Procedure of this activity:

  1. Take out the three most contrasting pairs of cylinders and place the red ones in the center of the table and the blue ones beside them.
  2. Pick up a red cylinder and hold it by the top with your index finger, three fingers on one side, and thumb on the other side.
  3. Shake the cylinder by your ear a few times, then shake it by the other ear.
  4. Isolate the red cylinder on the table and show your child the sound by shaking it near their ear.
  5. Repeat the process with the other two red cylinders.
  6. Pair up the matching red and blue cylinders by shaking both cylinders and verifying if they match.
  7. If there are extra cylinders, invite your child to try pairing them.
  8. Put the cylinders away and show your child where they belong.

After your child has successfully matched the cylinders, you can introduce the words "loud" and "soft". This exercise improves their auditory sense and introduces them to tone quality.

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