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Sound Detectives

Try to guess objects just by their sounds.


  • five objects, such as a piece of paper, a stapler, a ball, a handful of marbles, a book

Key Science Concepts

  • Sounds have a source.
  • An action has to take place for a sound to occur.
  • Different objects make different sounds.


Encourage children to use words that describe sound, such as crinkle, tap, knock, bang, thump. Invite them to also use words that help them practice their science skills, such as listen, describe, notice, discover.


Keep the objects hidden from children. Tell them that they will be “sound detectives,” who have to identify an object just by listening to the sound you are going to make with it.

  1. Have the children face away from you. Stand behind them and make a sound with one of the objects. For example:
    • wrinkle, wave, or rip the paper
    • staple, open, or knock over the stapler
    • toss and catch, bounce, or tap the ball
  1. Each time, ask,
    • What do you hear?
    • What do you think I did to make that sound?
  1. Show children the objects after they have guessed. Make sure children explain their answers.
    • What made you think the sound came from the (stapler) and not the (ball or the sheet of paper)?
  1. Play a second round, this time making different sounds with the objects.

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