An unusual sound is great for getting people’s interest in a sensory story. There are some noises that I love to include in my stories. My feeling is that if you know a noise will help a story along shoehorn it in to your story if you can!
Here are my top five noises!
1) A Slide Whistle
It is a very funny noise! Why? I don’t know – but for some reason it makes everyone laugh. Use it for someone/something falling, jumping, flying, growing, shrinking…
The Acme Slide Whistle is a bit more expensive than most but will last you for years and years – it’s the Rolls Royce of slide whistles!
2) Bird Song
BIrd song can be added to almost any story that takes place outside. I often use it at the beginning of a story – it’s a soft inviting noise that captures people’s attention in a gentle way. Try using the RSPB soft toy birds with real bird sounds:
I sometimes cut the sound-box out of these toys and put it in a little drawstring bag instead (knotted up tight). The bag is simpler to press to get the sound and also more age appropriate for older children and/or adults.
3) A ‘football’ rattle (or ratchet)
These make a good tick-tock (of a clock) if you spin them very slowly. I also use them to make the sound of drawbridges going up or down, a drip of water, knitting needles clicking and crowds celebrating.
Be warned – they can be very loud! If I am handing them around for people to join in with I usually use ones that are a bit cheaper as these tend to be quieter.
4) A bicycle bell
These make such an appealing noise – I often put the hero/heroine of my story on a bike simply so that I can include some ting-tings! Who’s to say that Little Red Riding Hood didn’t visit Grandma on her bike! Or the littlest Billy Goat didn’t cross the bridge on his scooter!
This one-touch type of bell is much easier for a child to ‘ting’ than a traditional bicycle bell. (Especially if you hold it for them.)
5) A rain stick
Any story set in the UK can include a shower of rain! It must have rained on Jack’s magic beans to make them grow. And I bet it was raining when Cinderella waved her sisters off to the ball.
This Goki rain stick is one of my favourites because you can see the beads inside – there is something quite mesmerising about watching them fall – sometimes they distract me from my own story!
Remember – not all of my props recommendations are toys! The props I suggest should not be used by children unsupervised.