Large and Small Group Ideas
You can use the instruments the children created for a large group class band activity. Ask children to beat the drums loudly and softly. Create different signals or arm movements for "Play Loudly!" and "Play Quietly!" and ask children to follow your instructions as if you were the conductor of an orchestra. Here are a few other simple activities:
Guess The Sound: This game is best played in a quiet room. For effect, ask the children to lie down on their backs with their eyes closed. Turn the lights off and silently move about the room. Tell the children that you are going to make a noise in the classroom and it will be their job to guess what it is. Knock on a toy shelf, run your hands through the crayon box or tap on a window. Tell children to sit up and open their eyes. Allow the class to guess the sound you were making. Allow the correct guesser to then make a noise for everyone else to guess.
Voices: To introduce children to tone and volume, try this noisy group game. Tell children that their voice is a very powerful instrument and if they practice, they can make their voices do all kinds of things. Pick a word or a simple sound, such as "Ah", and show children how to make their voices quiet, loud, high and low. Experiment with moving your mouth in a different way to change the tone of the sound and ask children to mimic you. Experiment with whispers, grunts, clicking and shushing. Practice making patterns with your voices. For example, three quiet "Ah" sounds followed by two loud tongue clicks. Play a Simon Says type of game, in which you make a pattern with your voice and tones and the children have to copy what you do.
Letter Sounds: The basis of a preschool phonics program is teaching children that letters make sounds and those sounds, when blended, create words. What better time to discuss letter sounds and phonics than a sound unit? Start with simple words such as "bat" and "cat". These words contain letters and sounds that children can easily recognize. Point out that each letter has a sound, and ask children to sound out the word one letter at a time. For example, point to the letter "B" in bat and emphasize the "buh, buh, buh" sound. Move on to the "A" and the "T" in a similar way before putting it all together to form the word "bat". Try sounding out a new word each day in this manner at your morning circle time.
Sound Words: Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it describes. Besides being very fun word to teach preschoolers, coming up with these sound words can be a great game for young children. Give children some examples such as "Bam", "Zap", "Zing" and "Boing" before asking for their examples. To play a game with these sound words, have children imitate the sound words through movement. For example, "buzz" would involve flying like an insect and "clip clop" might look like galloping as a horse would.