What is a resonance or ‘clonker’ board?

The basic design is simple, but very effective! It is made from a square piece of plywood at least 1/8 of an inch thick. The thickness may vary depending upon who is going to be using it. If the board is too thin it will split when an adult kneels on it, and if it is too thick it will not resonate very well. A good size is 4 feet square, but this can be enlarged or reduced. Too small a square and the resonant qualities will reduce dramatically; too large a square and the center of the board will sag and touch the floor when an individual’s weight is on it, seriously dampening the resonance. However, the board should bend slightly downwards with the weight of the child/adult, which will make beads,balls and other objects roll towards them.

The upper surface and edges of the resonance board are very smooth and these may be painted or polished. How about using scented wax polish (such as lavender) to add a consistent smell as an extra marker to identify the board? A black resonance board will give a good visual contrast. Perhaps the board could be painted to represent the story/poem or music that you are using in class?

Naomi Rosenberg

Naomi will be sharing simple but effective ideas on how to use a resonance board at The Big Autism Play Day in London on 17 March 2017.

Find out more about The Big Autism Play Day!