Use of an iPad/tablet doesn’t just need to involve watching the screen. You can also use it to develop listening skills which are a crucial element of language development. There are hundreds of sound based apps which could be adapted for a What’s That Sound? game with your child at home and some are adaptable for pretty much any age.
A few suggested free sound effect apps are listed below in categories.
Some ideas for how to play:
- Which picture? Play the sound first, then
show your child the screen and see if they can pick the right picture. Next, swap round and it’s your turn to guess.
- Name that sound! Play the sound and see if your child can name it.
- Where is it? Play the sound of a household object (e.g. tap running) and ask your child to go and find the source of that sound in the house.
- What does it sound like? Play the sound (especially if your child doesn’t know what it is) and try and describe it using as many adjectives as you can.
Animal and transport:
I Hear Ewe is a great store of animal and transport sounds with pictures. Make sure you go to settings to turn off the verbal descriptions! https://appsto.re/gb/sSbis.i
SoundTouchLite is similar to I Hear Ewe and the lite version has animal and transport sounds but you can pay to unlock more. https://appsto.re/gb/hyBRv.i
Animal Sounds Farm Jungle Forest Voices for Kids has a wider range of animal photos rather than cartoons as with the previous two. And a good one for guessing games as the selected picture does not become enlarged when you click on it. https://appsto.re/gb/ekG2db.i
In the Box is a listening game which can be played independently – the child must touch the box and listen to the sound, then guess which animal it corresponds to. A great idea but I got it wrong when asked to identify a giraffe… https://appsto.re/gb/MVOCI.i
Discover Musical Instruments Free is a long time favourite of mine – photos of several different instruments which play a tune when selected. Note: you need to turn the iPad on its side to access the grid with many different instruments displayed. https://appsto.re/gb/Bckey.i
Shake Musics is a great variation on this where you have to shake the iPad to create a sound. https://appsto.re/gb/VJO6G.i
General sound effects:
SoundEffects has a limited free range of human and outdoor sounds and allows you to record a few of your own. (as opposed to Sound Effects which had too many pop up adverts for my liking). https://appsto.re/gb/3Nqxx.i
100 Button Sounds Has a wide range of buttons including church bells, can opening and animal sounds but you do have to put up with quite a few adverts. https://appsto.re/gb/o3rg-.i
www.freesoundeffects.com is a website rather than an app but has hundreds of different sounds such as ‘creaky door’ and ‘footsteps walking on gravel’. Doesn’t have pictures but does have excellent descriptions of sounds e.g. ‘Garbage truck, hissing of hydraulics, clanging of metal’. It might give you some inspiration for talking about the sound that you hear!