Tracking My Son’s First Words

Like many parents, I kept track of my son’s earliest words for his scrapbook. Then, I read a fantastic book about language development called How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life. The book explained how toddlers go through a “language explosion” … Read more

Toddler Books About Robots

It might seem odd to read about robots on a blog about sound… but I’m a mom in tech and my toddler is obsessed with robots! You can use robots as a way to get a toddler to listen and verbalize sounds (which helps with speech development). You can talk … Read more

Expecting parents: What you need to know about sound and babies

When you’re preparing a baby, the typical things you think about buying are a crib, toys, and diapers. As a mom who’s worked in the entertainment industry for over 15 years, here’s some advice about things you probably haven’t thought of. You don’t have to stop going to loud places … Read more

Sound for Lego Animation Movies

My 9-year old nephew got a book for Christmas on stop-motion animation with Legos. When I saw his first videos, they were so fun I had to add sounds to them. With a few simple suggestions, he was off and running doing all his own sound design. I’ll walk you … Read more

5 ways to protect babies hearing

Hearing damage doesn’t just happen from being at a loud rock concert. There’s things in our homes and every day life that can cause hearing damage to adults – and to babies. Is a baby’s hearing more sensitive? Babies are more susceptive to hearing damage (and ear infections) than adults … Read more

When is a Toy Too Loud?

Some toys are so loud they can cause hearing damage. All toys have to undergo acoustic testing and meet requirements (set by the American Society of Testing and Materials, or ASTM). But, the way that kids play with toys (especially how close a toy is to their ears) doesn’t always … Read more

Gift Ideas for Kids Who Like Music and Tech

Music technology is about manipulating sound through electronics. For a kid who’s creative and technical it’s a great area to explore. Music technology also falls under STEM since it is engineering and technology-based. It’s probably one of few STEM areas with a creative component to it, too. You don’t have to … Read more

Hearing protection for children

Hearing protection for children of all ages is important because hearing damage from loud sounds is permanent. Children under the age of 5 are more susceptible to hearing damage so it’s especially crucial to protect their ears. What to look for in hearing protection Style The two styles of hearing protection … Read more

Is it safe to kiss your baby’s ears?

Do you like to kiss baby ears? Unfortunately, it’s possible for a kiss to the ear to cause hearing damage. It’s not just a risk to babies – it could happen to anyone – even an adult being kissed by a child. Babies have small ears and ear canals which … Read more

Teaching Loud and Quiet to Toddlers

Loud and quiet are basic sound concepts that can be taught to toddlers. Even though we tend to teach it in games, as a parent, I’ve found it to be a pretty useful tool (like trying to get a toddler to speak quietly when they’re being too loud in public). … Read more

Instruments by Remo for kids (that aren’t just for music)

Remo is a US-based company that’s been around over 60 years. They’ve been recognized for “environmentally responsible manufacturing” since 1997. Remo has a reputation in the professional music community for quality instruments and I have done sound recordings of many Remo instruments in my work. So, I was excited to find out … Read more

Do Baby Heart Rate Apps Work?

When I was pregnant, I was surprised to find apps that claimed they could detect a baby’s heart beat. As an audio expert, I didn’t think it was even possible for a microphone to pick up sounds deep inside the body. So, I decided to prove it by testing at … Read more

Tips for teens making music with technology

For teens who are making music, there’s a lot of technology to explore. Audio and music technology covers a wide range from writing music, recording music, and using “synth” (artificial) sounds with software or hardware. Getting started Most musicians don’t get into music tech by reading books and memorizing audio … Read more

Best Non-Electronic Toys for Babies (that use their sense of sound)

While babies love electronic toys that light up and play sounds, there’s a few reasons to give them a sensory experience that’s equally “acoustic,” too: Humans hear a wide frequency range of sounds – much wider than electronic toys can create Acoustic toys can be good for motor skills because … Read more

What are the loud sounds at your school? A science project

In 2000, a group of fifth graders in Centerville, Ohio took on a research question: “Are there times or activities in our school when the noise level becomes dangerous to people’s hearing?” They discovered a number of places where sound levels were not safe and their article was published in Hearing Rehabilitation … Read more

How noise affects kids at school

It’s been proven in many studies that background noise can affect children’s ability to learn. Until a child is in their teens, it’s hard for them to separate sounds they want to listen to from those those they don’t want to focus on. It’s the most difficult for kids under the … Read more

Is your baby’s noise machine too loud?

Infant sleep machines are designed and marketed to help infant’s sleep better. But, when a noise machine is too loud or too close, it can disrupt sleep or worse – cause permanent hearing damage. A group of Canadian researchers measured noise machines set to maximum level. They found some machines … Read more

Why Babies & Toddlers Need A Quiet Background to Learn

Babies and toddlers listen differently to the world and too much sound can affect their ability to learn. For most adults, it doesn’t take effort to filter out sounds we don’t want to pay attention to and focusing on the ones we do (like someone speaking when there’s light/moderate background music … Read more

Sound chart for kids

The Sound Chart for Kids activity helps learn how to identify sounds and different characteristics of each sound. The basic characteristics we’re going to look at: Loudness: Loud, medium or soft/quiet (medium is speaking voice level) High frequency, low or mid-range (middle) Short vs long length (a clap versus singing … Read more

Teen hearing loss (and how to prevent it)

Teen hearing loss has become a growing problem especially as earbuds have grown in popularity. As many as 1 in 6 adolescents have high frequency hearing loss (because of exposure to loud noises such as music played through headphones). Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson (“Seattle Mama Doc”) has an excellent article … Read more

Rap and heavy metal music during pregnancy

Some websites say to avoid music like heavy metal or rap during pregnancy and only play gentle music (like classical) to not startle your unborn baby. I’ve seen references to “research” but I can’t find any real studies about the effects of listening to dissonant, “harsh” or atonal music during … Read more

Do belly headphones work?

Belly headphones are a popular registry item (“headphones” designed for mom’s belly so baby can listen to music). Before you go buying buds for your bump, consider this: No research shows that playing music to a baby in the womb makes them smarter No research shows newborns can recognize music their … Read more

Stomping Game for Toddlers

Find things to stomp on! This is a toddler sensory activity that is also good to encourage language development. When we talk about sound games for young kids, we tend to think of their hands. What can they touch, shake, or rattle to create sounds? Toddlers love to walk, kick, … Read more