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Sound Bells

Sweet Pea is 26 months old.


From: I saw this on The Wonder Years blog.



  • Use the butter knife to pry one of the bell’s corners up enough to remove the metal piece from inside.  Then use the flat of the knife to push the corner back down.
  • Repeat on 4 more bells so you have 5 “silent” bells.
  • Put all 10 of the bells in 1 basket.
  • Put the bell basket and 2 empty baskets on a tray.
  • Sit next to your tot and show him or her the tray.
  • SoundBells-1
  • Pick up one of the bells and shake it next to your ear.  If it makes a noise say, “Oh, we can hear this bell.”  Then drop the bell into the empty basket on the right.  If the bell does not make a noise say, “We can’t hear anything.  This one is silent.”  Then drop the silent bell into the basket on the left.
  • Repeat several times until you have demonstrated both silent and noisy bells.
  • Invite your tot to take a turn.
  • When all of the bells have been sorted, mix them back up in the original basket.

Observations: I tried this activity twice, a couple of months apart.  The first time Sweet Pea was very interested in getting her hands on the bells.  She could hardly sit still for the demonstration.  However as soon as I let her try the activity, she quickly grew bored.  She only handled them for about 30 seconds before asking to play with the counting teddies instead.


The second time she worked on it for a bit longer, but she never actually figured out how to sort the bells. The only thing she really enjoyed was pouring the bells back and forth into another container.


I wouldn’t call this a disaster, but Sweet Pea just didn’t seem interested.  I don’t know exactly where I went wrong with this.  I thought she’d love it.  Maybe she was just too young.  I will try it again in another couple of months.

Notes from the Trenches: It is surprisingly easy to remove the noisemaker from inside the bell.  I found the butter knife worked better than pliers because it didn’t warp the metal when I tried to push the corner flap back down.

Rating: 1 Stars * (Easy)

4 comments to Sound Bells

  • Sounds like a lot of setup for a simple sorting activity 🙂 I have a hard time to get Anna to sort anything – she just looks at me and says, “why?” I think she finds it boring or I didn’t find a sorting material that she would be interested to sort yet.

  • admin

    Natalie, Yes. I think that is a good way to put it. lol. Come to think of it, Sweet Pea has never done any sorting activity with much enthusiasm either.

  • Danielle

    I think you’re right – Joshua will sort his cars by color, type, etc. as part of his everyday play. I think three is more about sorting than two. I think this activity might be too easy for him though. Hard to say, he never ceases to surprise me.

    • admin

      I am constantly doing activities that are way too hard or way too easy for Sweet Pea. It’s so hard to tell what she will be interested in doing.

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