Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Babies and young children learn primarily through sound. In fact babies are learning through sound when still in the womb since their ears are fully functional prior to birth. Studies show that when babies and young children are presented with both visual and sound stimuli that they will first be attracted by the sound. This could be because sounds are more transient than visual stimuli so the brain has evolved to give sound priority when there is a choice. It is also probably because sound stimuli are particularly important to young children in their development of language. Young children and babies do not differentiate between music and sounds in the way an adult does, instead they are fascinated by all sound particularly when they are instrumental in creating it.

Training video

Shaker Bottles-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Equipment required

  • Bottles filled with contents suggested


Two to three weeks

How it works

Babies will explore a range of sound making bottles

What to do in the class

Place a variety of different objects into some empty bottles. Everyone sits in a large circle and pass the bottles round. Where possible the bottles should look the same but they should make quite different sounds. Possible ingredients for the bottles could be:

  • Rice
  • Pasta shapes or spaghetti
  • Water
  • Tissue paper
  • Buttons
  • Rubber ball
  • Paper clips
  • Feathers
  • Cotton buds
  • Coins
  • Marbles
  • Shells
  • Seeds
  • Crayons
  • Bells
  • Beads
  • Cutlery

Adaptations for older/younger children

None required

What to do in a nursery setting

Encourage staff to help the babies interact with the bottles on a one to one basis where possible.