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Sound Eggs or “A Descent into Hysteria” – Part 2

Sweet Pea is 35 months old.

From: This activity is based on the Montessori sound cylinders work.  It is a great way to use some of those plastic eggs that are laying around after Easter and I’ve seen it in a ton of places (most recently on Giving Up On A Clean House and Activity Mom).  We did this last year, although it didn’t go so well, but I was looking forward to trying it again this year with an older Sweet Pea.


  • 10-12 Plastic Easter Eggs
  • 5-6 Types of fillings for the eggs (beans, rice, salt, dry pasta, jelly beans, etc.)
  • 2 baskets or bowls
  • 1 egg carton


  • Fill 2 eggs with the same material and repeat for each additional type of material.  For example, fill 2 eggs with rice, 2 with beans, 2 with salt, etc.
  • Place one egg from each of the pairs into separate baskets.

  • Place one of the egg baskets on the left side of the table where your tot will be working.  Place the other basket in front.  Put the egg carton off to the side.
  • Sit next to your tot at the table and tell them that you are going to be doing a listening activity.
  • Take an egg out of the basket on the left.  Hold it up to your ear and shake it.  Hand it to your tot and let them listen to it.
  • Next take an egg out of the basket in front of you.  Shake the egg next to your ear and let your tot do the same.  Ask, “Do these 2 eggs make the same sound?”
  • If they make the same sound, place them together into the egg carton.  If they do not sound similar, replace the egg from the  front container and select another one.  Listen to each egg from the front basket until you do find a match.
  • Let your tot try on their own.

Observations: Despite making sure that Sweet Pea was well-fed and not cranky, this activity turned out to be eerily similar to the disaster that occurred last year.

We started out well enough.  Sweet Pea loved shaking the eggs and listening to them, although she was not very accurate in deciding if the sounds matched or not.

However she was quickly overcome by an obsession to discover what was inside the eggs.

Sweet Pea: “Can I open these?”

Me: “No.”

Sweet Pea: “Can I open these?”

Me: “No.”

Sweet Pea: “Can I open these now?”

Me: “No, not yet.”

Sweet Pea: “Can I open these now?”

Me: “No, you can open them later.”

And cue the melt down:

I reassured her that she would eventually be able to open the eggs and that seemed to get her back under control, but the rest of the activity didn’t last very long.

As promised, after we were done, I finally told Sweet Pea she could open up the eggs.

Once we got the mess cleaned up, we had a really good time shaking the eggs and then trying to guess what was inside, then opening them up to see if we were right.  She liked this game much better than trying to match the similar sounds.

So, I can’t really say that I would recommend this activity for other tots in this age group, although other people seem to have had better luck with it.  However, I’m not one to give up so I’m sure we’ll try it again next year..  🙂

Also, I have another plastic egg activity to post about next time, so don’t throw them out yet!

Notes From The Trenches:

Solder the egg halves together or keep a dustpan handy.

And if your tot is as obsessed as Sweet Pea about opening eggs, you might want to try this really nice version of sound boxes made from toilet paper rolls I saw on Zonnah’s Addictions instead.

Rating: 0 Stars *

Carnival: This post is linked at One Hook Wonder’s weekly Toddler Tuesday.


8 comments to Sound Eggs or “A Descent into Hysteria” – Part 2

  • Thanks for linking back to me! I’m sorry your egg shakers didn’t go so well. We have played with ours dozens of times this week, and yes- they have been spilled tons too!

  • love your blog…sorry that this did not work out for you…

    If you do decide to use the eggs for another Montessori inspired work, you can make eggs that she can compare and match by smell.

    She might like this work, as she can open the eggs.

    To do this work, you need the following:
    permanent marker pens in different colors or else little stickers in different colors
    plastic eggs
    (optional) glue gun
    a few different bottles of essential oils, such as rose, lavender, chamomile, melon, and orange
    then, if you can find them, you can use: some little fluffy yellow chicks (I found ours at a craft store)
    or else:
    some cotton balls

    If you use the cotton balls:
    Glue a cotton ball inside each egg.
    Then, put a few drops of the essential oil on each egg.
    Then, mark the matching pairs of eggs with either a permanent marker dot or a sticker dot on the bottom of the eggs.

    If you use the fluffy yellow chicks:
    You might want to either buy enough that she will have some extras that are not glued down to play with or else, you may wish to skip gluing the chicks down, as she might want to take the chicks out of the eggs.

    Then, follow the same steps as above.

    There are three adorable chick books about an adorable little fluffy yellow chick named Coco…
    C is for Coco, Coco Counts, and Coco All Year Round.

    She might love these books…mine did! I love the books, too…so cute.

    Have fun! Happy Spring!

  • That would soooo be my tot too. I’m glad I didn’t try it now. Actually, she’s like that with most activities. LOL

  • Sorry the activity didn’t work out! We tried these last year and my DS threw them on the floor to open them (I even tried hot glueing them!).

  • This made me smile, as that’s exactly why I have been hesitant to try this. Good for you, giving it another chance & even thinking about trying it again next year.

  • It looked so great and I loved the photo of the meltdown and can actually picture E as he would do exactly the same!

  • My daughter is 31 months and I’ve recently been trying to do activities with the sound boxes and having similar results. Except you can’t open the cylinders and she’s just as dedicated to knowing what is inside them!

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