My 6-year-old Philip has just finished his final exam on Grade 1 Science. One of the topics was Sounds. Unfortunately, since it was a written test, there was no way to actually tell if he could hear subtle differences in sounds. In fact, he had to demonstrate his knowledge about sounds without listening to any sounds during the test.
If only his school would use the Sound Salad app to test the student’s ability to distinguish sounds, the test would be more contextual. Sound Salad is a unique app in which you listen to a sound clip and determine what object makes the sound.
Listen and Associate
The world has become so busy that the sounds have mixed together, making it difficult for Mr. Ear to distinguish the sounds and create the perfect harmony. Your task is to help Mr. Ear identify which object is the source of the sounds you hear.
Depending on the difficulty level, you may be looking at 2-4 options. In the easy mode, you can tap on each musical notes to listen to the sounds. Then, you drag the note to a matching illustration. For example, if you hear a “meow” you should drag the note to the picture of a cat.
When you have correctly matched each note with its illustration, you can continue with the next group of sounds. The sound groups include vehicle sounds (motorcycle, taxi, boat, and helicopter), sounds from musical instruments (drum, trumpet, piano, maracas, snare drum, and tambourine), different sounds of water (sucking sounds made from drinking through a straw, the pouring of liquid into a cup, and drips from a loose water faucet), animal sounds (dog, cat, lion, pig, frog, mouse, elephant, and zebra), and even sounds made by woodworking tools (hammer, seesaw, and drill).
Parents Need to Know
Sound Salad comes with several difficulty levels that would appeal to different age groups. You start with two sounds, then three and four sounds. In the easy levels, you decide when you want to start listening to the sounds. In latter levels, the app controls when the sounds are played. You can also challenge yourself in a timed mode where all the sounds from different groups are mixed together.
The app supports nine different languages, including Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Russian, and Chinese. It doesn’t have third-party ads, in-app purchases, or links to social networks.
Things I Like
The ability to recognize sounds is an important skill to master. But, I’ve never come across an app that focuses on this skill until I found Sound Salad. Even in a formal education where first graders learn about sounds, this skill is not emphasized. That’s why I like this app.
I also like that the sounds have been picked and grouped in a way to really train your ears. For example, you’d need to differentiate the sounds that birds, such as crows and parrots, make. You’d also need to differentiate how performers — tap dancer, ballerina, opera singer — sound when they perform, who is making the sounds of the footsteps, and what kind of noise a soccer game, a basketball game, and a pingpong game would make.
Sound Salad is the perfect app for kids to differentiate one sound from another. It has 96 different sound sources, from animals to musical instruments. I’ve never seen an app that focuses on this skill before, and Sound Salad did a great job delivering it. I really think it’s a must-have for kids ages 3-7.
App was provided for our honest review.