Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Experiments with sounds provide your baby with basic lessons about music.

Nov 06, 2012



caucasian baby playing

Nov 06, 2012

What you need:

  • plastic cups 
  • pie tins and small pastry pans 
  • uncooked rice 
  • sand 
  • lunch-sized paper bags 
  • masking tape 
  • small noise-making objects (beans, bells, buttons, pasta, small bottle caps) 
  • plastic bowl, metal pot, tin pan 
  • wooden spoon 

What to do:

  1. Tin Pan Alley: Fill a small basin with uncooked rice or sanitized sand (and have larger tin or pie pans handy). Give your baby some small tin pastry pans and plastic cups. Help her pour the rice or sand into these containers. Now turn the pie pans over so that the bottom faces upward. Help your baby pour rice or sand onto the bottom of the pan. What kind of sound does the rice or sand make when it hits the pan? This activity can also be done with water. Fill the basin with water and give your baby a small sprinkler can to use to pour water into and over the tin pans. Encourage her to listen to the water as it falls. Reminder: Provide constant supervision so your baby does not eat the rice or sand.
  2. Paper Bag Rattles: Fill a few lunch-size paper bags with different items (uncooked rice, pasta, beans, buttons, bells, small bottle caps, sand, and so on) that, when shaken, will create different sounds. Secure the ends of each paper bag tightly with a rubber band or masking tape. Leave a few inches at the end of the bag for your baby to hold. Place the bags in front of your little one and encourage her to shake each bag and investigate the different sounds. You can decorate the bags by cutting out pictures from magazines or toy catalogs and gluing them onto each bag. 
  3. Sticky Situations: Make a small circle with the sticky side of masking tape facing out. Now stick the tape onto your child's high-chair tray. Encourage her to lift the tape off the table. Talk to her about the sounds the tape makes as it comes unstuck. Place the tape onto your clothing and encourage her to pull it from there. 
  4. A Different Drummer: Gather a large plastic bowl, a metal pot, and a tin pan. Place these items in front of your baby. Give her a wooden spoon and encourage her to hit the objects. (You may have to demonstrate.) Talk to her about the different sounds each item makes. Join in the fun by singing a favorite song and using another wooden spoon to drum along with your baby. She may also enjoy drumming along with her favorite recorded music. 


Attention and Focus
Hand-Eye Coordination
Music Activities
Fine Motor Skills
Age 2
Age 1
Songs and Rhymes
Sand and Water Play
Motor Skills