Story Sound Effects

Story Sound Effects (4)

Here’s a fun way to add dynamics – literally! – to story time with a toddler. This activity is particularly useful for kids who might not otherwise sit still for a story.

First, I gathered together items that make noise. Instruments are an obvious pick, but also think of rattles or toys that jingle, and things that can be tapped together like wooden blocks.

Story Sound Effects (1)

For the first version of the game, I told a story out loud instead of reading from a book.

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Picking “Jack and the Beanstalk” as our tale, I used the tinkle of a triangle for magical moments like the cornstalk growing, a castanet for the hooves of the cow at market, a horn to toot for the golden goose, and wooden blocks to tap for the Giant’s big footsteps.

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Veronika might not have understood the story, but she was enthralled by all the sounds. She loved grabbing a noisemaker or two to join in.

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For the next round, I read from a favorite book (Little Blue Truck) and similarly found items that made sounds throughout the story. A toy horn was perfect for Blue’s “beep beep beep”!

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As we got to each animal, I invited Veronika to chime in. Horse says…? “Neigh!” she responds. Here’s a clip!

Invite your child to join in on any similar animal sounds in your story, or to sing along to various words. Whether you’re shaking maracas for rain or stomping your feet for thunder, story sounds effects like this will be a fantastic way to keep your child engaged!

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Swedish Pancakes

Swedish Pancakes (3)

This pancake batter whips up in a blender for easy prep, and results in a thinner, crepe-like pancake. The recipe was a fun addendum to recent Swedish dishes Travis has prepared.

Swedish Pancakes (1)


  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted Earth Balance butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Strawberry jam
  1. In a blender, combine the Ener-G eggs, almond milk, butter, flour, sugar, and salt. Process until smooth.
  2. Heat a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup batter and swirl so the batter reaches the edges of the pan. Cook for 1 minute; then flip and cook for about 20 seconds on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  3. Serve with strawberry jam and powdered sugar, if desired.

Swedish Pancakes (2)

Kids can fold these up and eat them as little hand-held pockets. If your kids don’t want them with jam and powdered sugar, simply top with more familiar maple syrup instead!