‘What’s that sound?’ Why it’s good for children with disability or autism
In ‘What’s that sound?’ children wear a blindfold and guess an everyday object by the sound it makes.
‘What’s that sound?’ is a fun way for children with disability or autism to explore their senses. It helps them learn to take turns, focus and pay attention, and it builds their thinking skills.
Children can also find this activity calming.
What you need for ‘What’s that sound?’
You can use objects from around your home for ‘What’s that sound?’ For example, you could use:
- a blindfold, scarf or other fabric to cover the player’s eyes or a box to hide objects
- a range of everyday objects that make sounds – for example, a set of keys, coins, piece of newspaper, tongs, dried leaves, bells or a hairbrush
- two people – this can be you or another carer and your child, or two children.
Avoid small parts, breakable parts or brittle materials that might be choking hazards. Product Safety Australia’s free, do-it-yourself Choke Check tool can help you identify toys and other objects that pose choking or ingestion hazards.
How to play ‘What’s that sound?’
- Player 1 has their eyes covered.
- Player 2 takes one object at a time, makes the sound and asks player 1 to guess what the object is.
- Player 1 has three guesses before player 2 reveals the object.
- Repeat with a few different objects.
- Try swapping roles so player 2 has to guess the sounds.
- Make sure not to play the sound too loud or too close to the ears.
You can hide the objects in a box instead of using a blindfold. If you’re playing the game this way, make sure you can reach the object and make a sound without the other person seeing it.
How to adapt ‘What’s that sound?’ to suit children with diverse abilities
For deaf children, you could focus on other senses. For example, your child could try to guess different foods by their taste, or guess different objects by their feel or smell.
For children who find it hard to remember things, use objects that are very familiar at first, and play with only a few objects at a time. Gradually build up to less familiar objects, or more objects at a time. Incorporating other senses can also make it easier for your child to guess. For example, your child could hold and feel the object after listening to the sound. It can also help to repeat the name of the object together after your child has guessed it.
For children who have difficulty with fine motor skills, you could use larger objects and allow extra time to set up each object and sound, if your child is being player 2. You could help your child to make the sound, and another person could do the guessing.
Looking for more play and learning ideas for your child? You might like to explore our other activity guides. Some of these have been created for typically developing children, but they can all be adapted to suit children with diverse strengths and abilities.