Early Childhood Express December 2020 Activities

Child sitting in a park, smiling

Sounds in the Neighborhood

This activity gives children a chance to listen, think about, and identify things that make noise in their neighborhoods.


  • Pictures of things found in the neighborhoods where your children live that make noise (examples: a train; farm animals; cars; machinery; dogs barking; children playing.)
  • Scissors
  • Paste
  • Voice recorder (tape recorder, camera, cell phone, etc.)
  • Recording of neighborhood sounds
Ask the children to list things they hear in their neighborhood or around their house. Play the recording of neighborhood sounds and see if the children can identify them. Have them match the sounds to the pictures.  Have them try to imitate the sounds with their voices and record their attempts. Make individual or group montages of the sound pictures by pasting them on paper.
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats is a good book to read about one boy’s experience with sounds in his neighborhood.

Investigating Water

Water is one resource that we currently seem to have more than enough of. Here are some fun activities to do in case you have too much:
  • Ask questions about water and let the children experiment to find the answers. Ask,  “What does it feel like? Is it smooth or rough, cold or hot, wet or dry?”
  • Experiment with the different uses for water, such as: washing dishes, doll clothes, or furniture; watering plants; cooking; making play materials such as play dough; and drinking.
  • Explore the properties of water. Place a jar of water, with its volume marked, in a sunny place for a few days. Talk about what happened with your child and ask them where they guess the water went.
  • Demonstrate different states of water by making ice, boiling water to steam, and watching ice melt.
  • Provide opportunities for free exploration of water with siphons, containers for pouring and measuring, and objects for sinking or floating.

This article was contributed by Mary Perkins for the Early Childhood Express newsletter.