Sound Matching Toy

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Ages preschooler

This sensory game is a clever take on the classic memory game, but kids have to match sounds rather than pictures. Kids shake the wood cup to match the sounds, then peek at the bottom to see if they answered correctly. It's easy to make, fun to play, and makes a great early learning gift for preschoolers!

What you'll need

  • 8 Large wood candle cups
  • 8 Wooden circles - slightly larger than candle cup opening
  • Acrylic paint - 6 colors
  • 4 sound makers (e.g. rice, dry beans, wiggle eyes, small bells)
  • Wood glue
  • Wood putty or hot glue (only if candle cup has a small hole)

How to make it

  1. Check to see if you need to prepare your candle cup. I purchased these candle cups on the same day, from the same store by the same manufacturer. One set had a small hole at the bottom, the other did not. Ideally, you do not want a hole, but if that is your only option, the hole is easy to fill with either wood putty or hot glue. Once you fill the hole and let it dry, sand it lightly so it takes the paint better.

  2. Paint all of the candle cups white (or whatever color you prefer). Paint one side of the wood circles to match.

  3. Flip the wood circles over and paint the other sides in 4 color pairs (e.g. paint 2 yellow, 2 green, 2 blue and 2 orange). Choose another color to paint along the edge. I painted mine red. When dry, flip them over again and touch up the paint on the other side, if necessary.

  4. When all paint it dry, flip the cups so that the open end is up. Fill them as pairs with the sound making items. Try to put about the same amount of each object in each unit of the pair. Before sealing them, check the sounds to ensure that they match by topping holding a wood circle over each and shaking. Add or remove items to make the sound pairs match as closely as possible.

    Also, make sure that the sound makers you choose sound distinctively different from each other. For example, at first, I tried dry beans and pony beads, but they sounded very much alike, so I switched the pony beads for wiggle eyes.

  5. With the cups still with the open side up, apply wood glue or strong craft glue carefully along the rim, taking care not to drip. Then center the wood circles, colorful side up, over the opening to seal. Make sure matching sound pairs also get matching color pairs. Allow to dry color sides up. Once they are completely dry, flip them upside down so the colors face the table. Ask the child to pick up each piece and gently shake it to try to match the sounds. Check to see if he or she is right by matching the colors on the bottom.

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