Resonance Boards: Making Your Own
The Resonance Board is a very inexpensive piece of equipment that can be used alone and with a variety of other pieces of equipment such as the Little Room, Support Bench and Essef Board. The Resonance Board is the perfect place to let a child explore a box full of different objects or as a place to have an adult-child interaction with the adult either offering objects or imitating what the child does with the object. Below are Dr. Nielsen’s design specifications.
The use of cabinet quality birch plywood which is very dense enhances the tactile feedback that it provides when things are moved on its surface. The slight bowing of the top from the weight of the child and/or adult allows materials to roll back towards the center. That way the child is more likely to come in contact with the item and re-engage in play.
The air gap provided by the lip of the board insulates and lifts the learner off the cold floor. Another plus is that children and adults will not get as tired while sitting on it.
When introducing the child to the board, the adult should sit on the board with the child in her lap. Begin to make small sounds on the board (gradually becoming louder), so the child becomes aware of it. Slowly move the child down onto the board. When you have made sure that the child is secure and at home on the board, start putting objects under the hands, around the body, under the feet, and under the head of the child.
Observe the reactions of the child to determine how far to go the first time. Is the child is able to lie alone on the board, and how long does he play on it? Don’t worry if the child moves off the Resonance Board. Allow some time and see if he will return. Some children may choose not to sit on the board, but rather use it as a space to experiement with various objects.
The child will develop spatial awareness by learning a little about the limited “room” which the Resonance Board represents.This will motivate of the child to use the space outside of the Resonance Board and begin to move from one place to another.
The board will provide tactile feedback whenever the child moves or causes an object placed on it to move. This encourages the child to initiate more independent movements.
Using a Resonance Board During Adult-Child Interactions
Stacking Cups and Plates Using a Resonance Board
A young child and an adult play a game of stacking cups and plates before knocking them down. The sound is enhanced by the Resonance Board.
Download: Transcript (txt)
Using a Resonance Board for Independent Play
Playing With a Slinky on a Resonance Board
A young boy moves his arm and body while playing with a slinky on a Resonance Board. Not only is the sound enhanced, but the child can feel vibrations throughout his entire body while on the Resonance Board.
Directions for Making a Resonance Board
Resonance Boards are available for purchase from Lilliworks.com, but can be handmade as well.
Make Your Own Folding Resonance Board
Thank you to Sally Cameron from APSEA Preschool Services BVI (Nova Scotia) for sharing!
Note: People have reported problems with the wood splitting where the hinge is attached. We suggest you add a wooden strip 2 cm x 2 cm (after the hinge is glued on) along the edges of the underside where the hinge is placed. This will reduce some of the vibrational qualities of the board, but should provide more stability and reduce the chance of the plywood splitting. You should also consider using high-grade 1/4 ” birch plywood of the large surface of the board.
You can also buy a Resonance Board. Learn more.