These are homemade Montessori-inspired sound boxes made with film canisters I got for FREE at a grocery store photo processing center. I just asked for 20 canisters for a children’s project I had planed to do and they happily gave them to me. I filled them with duplicates of rice, beans, pennies, kosher salt, small bells, popcorn, small safety pins and other small objects. I made this a self-checking exercise by placing those colored circle stickers you can in the office supply aisle on the bottom of the cylinders.
Scent bottles. Inexpensive plastic bottles from the craft store filled with mint extract, almond extract, and vanilla extract, freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. We used a blindfold to try and compare the sample scent with the original container. This proved to be a bit tricky, because some of the scents smelled slightly differently in the bottle than they did in the original container. So instead, I will probably pick up another set of bottles and make comparisons on the samples. In the meantime, we just evaluated the different scents and ranked them in order of our favorites.
Fabric matching – squares of fabric obtained by looking in the remnant section of fabric stores (often times getting them dirt cheap when they were clearanced). This took some time, but we ended up with a nice selection of textures (soft, silky, crinkly [mylar wrapping paper], furry, fuzzy, rough, scratchy). The types of fabrics are two different types of fake fur, satin, silk, upholstery fabric, velvet, sherpa wool, netting, terry cloth, wool felt, corduroy to name most of them. There are a few synthetics I have no names for but I just kept my eyes open for interesting fabrics. You can mount them onto boards or leave them free. I chose to leave them free because sometimes the backsides feel differently than the front sides, and it helps to identify the match.
Salt Taste: Salty water
Sugar Taste: Sugary water
Sour Taste: Lemon juice
Bitter Taste: We used anise extract which sort of tasted bitter, but you can also use onion water or tonic water.