We try to keep our house filled with music. We have a Spotify account and numerous play lists featuring all different moods and genres. I play the piano, sang in choir in high school, and participated in all the musicals. My husband is a big music fan who loves Queen and The Killers, anything with good synthesizers and a daring front man. We love music. That’s why we try to do as many music activities for out kids as much as possible.
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When it comes to the kids, we try to expose them to great music to foster an interest and love for music. But like most things, kids learn best by doing instead of just listening. Is my 2 year old going to appreciate the beautiful harmonies of the Beach Boys? Or the sweeping rock opera that is Bohemian Rhapsody? Probably not right now.
We’ve done our best trying to incorporate some music activities into our household to foster a love of music with our kids but also because music education is strongly linked to academic achievement. Some of my favorite facts can be found on the Phoenix Symphony site.
When my little one was starting to crawl around and explore, I made an easy maraca using an empty water bottle and some rice. It was a toy that stayed in her toy box for almost 2 years. There are tons of easy ideas available if you don’t have a water bottle lying around. Easter eggs, Tupperware, baby bottles. Mix up the containers you use to make different sounds. You can also substitute rice for pasta or another material to change the sound the maracas make.
Bang The Drum
Every kid loves banging on pots and pans. I still remember my daughter’s face when she realized the noise she could make with them. I gave her a wooden spoon and she was captivated. Don’t just stop with pots and pans. Give them other materials to bang on (preferably durable, child safe materials). Have the child explore the different sounds each material makes. Change the wooden spoon to a whisk or another utensil to see the difference that makes.
Get those little bodies moving! Explore the idea of tempo with dancing. Play songs with different tempos and match your dancing to the tempo. Bigger kids can stand and dance and those just learning can hold onto some furniture and bounce. For example, sing Twinkle Twinkle both fast and slow to show the difference in tempo using the same song.
You can play along with baby, too. Move their arms and legs and have a fun bonding experience!
We took our kids to the Memorial Day Parade and it’s always fun to see the marching bands play. Introduce the idea of a multi instrument band through a marching band parade. Everyone grab a different “instrument” and march around the house playing said instrument. Switch it up and then march again. You can talk about orchestras and marching bands and how all the sounds when played together make beautiful music.
This is definitely a “big kid” activity that requires supervision. Fill up cups or glass jars with water of different volumes. When struck with a spoon they should all give off a different sound. Have your child explore the different sounds each makes. Next, have the child add water to one of the cups. How did the sound change? Keep experimenting by adding and subtracting water. Use different striking instruments to change the sound.
We hope these music activities for kids will get your little ones making some fun noise! What music activities do you do with your kids? Let us know in the comments below!