Children love making noise including banging on pots and pans! Making a sound wall outside is a great way to give children an outlet to explore making sounds by hitting a range of different objects. Children can also begin to explore volume by hitting objects made of different materials or by hitting harder or softer (with more or less force). As children get older they can also start copying and making repeating patterns (this will help children begin to develop algebraic thinking).
What you need
You can hang up pots, pans, lids, spoons, colanders, tins or whatever else you have lying around. Sticks, spoons, hands, etc. are great for banging with and the more variety of materials, shapes and sizes you have the wider range of different sounds the children will be able to make.
Questions to ask
- Can you make it louder or softer?
- What happens when you use something else to hit it?
- What happens when you turn it over and hit the other side?
- Can you make a repeating pattern?
What they get from it
This is a great pre-phonics activity that helps prepare children for phonics and the phonetic side of learning to read and write. Allowing children to have the freedom to explore sounds in a range of different ways will help them to begin to tune into sound – including different sounds – not just volume. This is a great early science activity. Children can explore sound and the ways in which it can be changed by banging different objects and materials and with different amounts of force. This also has the potential for children to create repeating patterns with sounds (a fantastic way for children to develop algebraic thinking).
Take it further
- Get children to try to make the sound that they think different animals would make. Children could make and match sounds that go with their different dolls or stuffed animals. You could make it a game by holding up the different stuffed animals and then they have to make the sound that goes with them.
- Children can begin to make repeating patterns using sounds. They can start by copying an adults pattern and then begin to make up some of their own patterns. Children could even have a ‘drum circle’ and work together to make repeating patterns. This pattern making will help children begin to develop algebraic thinking.
- Older children can begin to think about why there might be different types and volume of sounds. They can explore how they can make changes in order to get different volume and pitches by changing the size of the object or the type of material they are hitting or hitting with.