At 5 months old, Anika seems very aware of all the different sounds in the environment. She is obsessed with anything that makes sound and finds great joy in hearing it. Some of her favorites her banging her leg on different surfaces, listening to me singing lullaby’s and the sound of her bell chimes mobile.
Sounds are all around us but its great when we can help babies to understand the source and cause and effect of the sound + introduce them to some new ones. Here are some ways we have been discovering sounds at our home…
- Allowing space, freedom and silence- This is first and foremost for any learning….Giving them silence from our side, so they have space and freedom to explore sounds in their environment. Giving children ‘their space’ gives them opportunities to discover sounds in the environment. I always remind myself to not overpower my presence around her, to wait, to observe and to follow.
- Food jars– Our family loves anything to do with food and Anika is no different. Once during our “introduction to home environment” where I was describing the pantry to her…I started shaking all the food jars so she could hear how they sound and she loved it so much! We continue to do this often.
- Sounds in nature– Simple things like the pitter patter of raindrops or the songs of birds brings great joy to babies. Weather permitting we go outside everyday and this greatly increases Anika’s exposure to the world of sounds.
- Water play- the ecstasy when babies discover that they can splash and hear that beautiful sound is something else. Anika loves splashing in the bath tub every night and we also do a small water play in the sink every morning after breakfast. Water is such a great medium for sensorial discovery.
- Finding source of various sounds in nature- Narrating or showing the source of sound so babies can make sense of their world. Example- showing the dog when they hear a barking sound.
- Toys that make sound- they learn cause and effect when they come in close contact with materials that make sound. Some of our favorites are willow rattle and bell chimes mobile.
- Exploring various surfaces with legs- Anika is obsessed with her legs and toes and loves kicking different surfaces/ rugs/ play mats to see what sound it would make. So, I often let her explore things around home with her legs, example- she loves kicking the cardboard to hear the sound it makes and then her rug and alternating and making sense of different sounds. I hold the cardboard close to her legs.
- Sing for them- A no fail, all babies love to hear the voice of their parents sing. We currently love singing action songs and lullaby’s. Some of our favorite action songs are- wheels on the bus, hammer hammer, miss polly, incy wincy spider….
- Play/ Listen to music- Listening to various genres of music aids in refining their listening skills. We tend to listen to music that we like as adults rather than children’s songs and Anika seems to recognize and express joy at some of her favorite songs.
- Explore various sounds at home- Our home environment has so many interesting sounds like the water flushing, tap running, sound made by dryer, washing machine, kitchen exhaust…..Anika finds great joy in understanding where noises at home are coming from. At 4 months old, we use to introduce various parts of home environment to her but now she extends her arms and legs forward while we go around letting us know what she wants to see or touch next.
I hope these gave you some ideas on exploring sounds in the environment, while making sense of the world for your little ones.