Category Archives: Music

Lucky Leprechaun Wands

luckywand

Submitted by: Jamie Robinson

These lucky wands are a simple and fun activity for any classroom.

Goals:

  • To encourage fine motor development and hand-eye coordination
  • To promote creative expression and imaginative play

Before You Start:

Prepare ahead of time by cutting sets of 4, 6″ hearts out of several green colors of construction paper or foam paper. If you have a die-cut machine it is much more efficient. You will need craft sticks, Colorations® Glitter Paint in green and/or gold, glue, scissors, ribbon and any other sparkles or decorative items.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Ask children to paint a craft stick with Colorations® Glitter Paint in green or gold.

Step 2.
Glue four hearts on top to create a four-leaf clover.

Step 3.
Decorate with gold and green curling ribbon dangling from the top, glitter and craft items.

Furthermore:
Children will love playing with these cute little wands. They are great for music and movement at circle time with Scottish or Irish music.

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Hand-Made Band

Instruments 005

Submitted by: Laurel Johnston

A fun, eco-friendly activity that uses recycled goods from home to create shaker and string instruments that allow for the exploration of rhythm and sound.

Goals:

  • To use recycled materials to create a creative instrument
  • To learn about rhythm and sounds created by different instruments
  • To work together to create unique sounds when instruments are played together

Before You Start:
Have children collect clean plastic food containers (with lids,) tin cans or plastic water bottles, rubber bands, and tissue boxes. You will also need recycled craft paper rolls, paint and decorating items (like glitter, stickers, stamps, etc.), unsharpened pencils, and uncooked rice and beans to use as the filling for shakers.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Make sure all cans and containers are washed and dried thoroughly.

Step 2.
Let the children decorate the containers with craft items of choice. It may be easier to wrap some of the containers with paper than to paint on the surface.

Step 3.
To make a guitar, have the children wrap rubber bands of varying thickness around the opening of the empty tissue box. “Plucking” the bands will create different kinds of sounds over the opening.

Step 4.
To make a cardboard shaker, seal up one end of the craft paper roll with thick paper held in place tightly with a rubber band. Pour in some uncooked rice and/or beans inside and seal the other end of the shaker. To make a plastic shaker, pour the rice/beans into a plastic water bottle and replace the lid.

Step 5.
To make a guiro, children can run an unsharpened pencil along the texture of the tin can or plastic water bottle. Tape a craft stick or pencil to one side of the can to act as a handle. Tape open ends of the cans to avoid sharp edges.

Step 6.
To make a drum, place the lid on the plastic food container and let the children pat on it with their hands or the eraser end of an unsharpened pencil.

Step 7.
Have the children practice “playing their instruments.” Set different rhythms for them to follow by clapping your hands.

Furthermore:
Let the students have a “solo” or create a symphony by seating students in sections by instrument and when you point to them they play. No instrument will sound exactly the same, and the students will have fun exploring the sounds.

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Toe Tappin’ Tambourines

tambourines

Help introduce music and rhythm to children with these easy-to-make paper plate tambourines!

Goals:

  • To have fun creating one-of-a-kind musical instruments to play with individually or as a group
  • To encourage creativity and fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Collect paper plates, Colorations® crayons and markers, staplers, and a one-hole punch. Set out small bowls with a variety of small smooth pebbles and/or beads and stringing jingle bells. Cut small lengths of yarn or ribbon, approximately 5-6 inches each ahead of time to use with the bells.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give each child their own paper plate. Have them fold the plates in half, so it looks like a clam, making sure to crease the fold well.

Step 2.
Have the children decorate their plates any way they like with the markers and crayons and any other decorative items you may have available.

Step 3.
Help the children punch 2-3 holes about 1/2″ from the edge of their plates, making sure to punch through both of the open sides. (The teacher may want to punch the holes for the younger children.)

Step 4.
Have the children choose some of the stones or beads for their tambourines. While holding the plates upright (fold side down), help the children carefully drop the materials inside.

Step 5.
Staple (or help older children) staple the plates together, making sure there are no large holes for the materials inside to fall out.

Step 6.
Add the finishing touch! Demonstrate how to string a piece of yarn on a bell and secure to a tambourine through holes earlier punched along the edge.

Step 7.
Now every child has their own unique, toe tappin’ tambourine to play with.

Furthermore:
Put on some music and have children play their tambourines along with the beat. Encourage them to shake, tap, rattle and have fun with the music. Use the tambourines to teach about rhythm and have the children echo rhythms that the teacher or other classmates demonstrate.

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The Woodpecker Rap

woodpeckerrap

Submitted by: Rae Pica

This activity offers an opportunity for the children to practice their rhythmic and listening skills.

Goals:

  • To learn about woodpeckers
  • To introduce music in a fun activity
  • To practice rhythm and listening skills

Before You Start:
Talk to the children about woodpeckers and the fact that they use their very strong beaks to peck at the bark or wood of trees to dig holes for their nests and to drill for insects.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Explain to the kids that they’re going to pretend to be woodpeckers drilling at trees and they’ll “peck” in, echoing responses to the rhythms you set. For instance, if you clap four times at a slow tempo, the children use their heads to peck four times at the same tempo.

Step 2.
Repeat each pattern at least once, at a slightly faster pace.

Step 3.
Choose rhythm groupings according to the age and experience of the children you’re working with. Generally speaking, the younger the age group, the shorter and slower the rhythms should be.

Furthermore:
An alternative is to use rhythm sticks or wooden blocks and striking tools to echo the patterns.

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Easy To Make Maracas

maracas

Submitted by: Alicia Colebeck

A hands-on craft that will help introduce music and rhythm to young children!

Goals:

  • To make simple and cost efficient instruments
  • To introduce Mexican culture and music

Before You Start:
You’ll need a small plastic egg and plastic spoon for each maraca. You’ll also need an assortment of items to fill the eggs – beads, rice, sand, etc. You can then use fabric, tissue paper, or even colored napkins to cover the eggs. An assortment of ribbons and string will be needed to tie the maracas shut.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Pick an egg and fill it half with beads, sand or beans.

Step 2.
Close the egg and tape the halves shut. Then, lay the egg on the end of the spoon (the end that would go in the mouth).

Step 3.
Then cut your fabric, tissue or napkin into a large square.

Step 4.
Cover the top of the egg and spoon, still together, with the covering you choose. Then gather the covering at the bottom of the egg/spoon.

Step 5.
Tie the gathered covering up close to the egg/spoon with a string, or a ribbon.

Furthermore:
You can also use festive red, green and white fabric/tissues/napkins for this project. Double up your fabric/tissue with another color or design to make them even more beautiful and sturdier. Ribbon with wire inside holds together really well after it is tied.

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Lucky Shamrocks

luckyshamrocks

Make St. Patrick’s Day a “greener” holiday with these eco-friendly lucky charms. They’re perfect props for the catchy St. Patrick’s Day rhyme included!

Goals:

  • To encourage creativity and build fine motor skills while recycling common household items
  • To help reinforce rote counting to 4
  • To provide an opportunity to practice rhythm and listening skills
  • To have fun singing as a group to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Before You Start:
Have the children collect clean empty paper grocery bags and bring from home. (Teachers may want to provide some also.) Gather scissors, tape, Colorations® crayons and markers. Prepare bowls of BioColor®, Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera paints or Washable Glitter Paint to add a sparkly touch to the project!

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have or help children cut open empty shopping bags and lay them flat on desks or activity tables.

Step 2.
Show the children how to draw a heart shape onto their bags if they do not already know how. Also, demonstrate how to draw a stem shape. Have them draw four hearts for each shamrock that they would like to make. (Size can vary to let the children be creative.)

Step 3.
Help the children (as needed) cut out their hearts.

Step 4.
Demonstrate to children how they can assemble their own shamrocks by laying the four hearts flat with the points touching each other.

Step 5.
Recite the rhyme below as you demonstrate turning the hearts into a shamrock.

One Lucky Heart I have today,
And with me my heart will stay.
Add another for some fun,
Two Lucky Hearts are better than one!
Add another and now they’re three,
So many Lucky Hearts just for me!
What will happen if I add one more?
Lucky Shamrocks, now I have four!
Find your own Lucky Shamrock, you’ll see
It’s four Lucky Hearts together, yipee!

Step 6.
Tape or glue the hearts together to form the shamrock leaves. Tape a stem where the four points meet to make the finished shamrock.

Step 7.
Have the children decorate their shamrocks any way they wish with the materials you’ve provided.

Furthermore:
Children can display their shamrocks in the classroom or keep them as a holiday keepsake. Rote counting and recognizing the numeral symbol for each number does not mean the child has a thorough knowledge of numbers. To add depth to this activity, allow the children to count items, such as blocks or other manipulatives, and show they know how many items equal each number. For example, when talking about the number 5, have the children take a set of blocks and count five blocks. This will help to further reinforce the concept of numbers.

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Valentine Sing-A-Long

valentinesing

A simple and engaging activity to help introduce the theme of Valentine’s Day while reinforcing rote counting.

Goals:

  • To help children learn the numbers 1-10
  • Provide an opportunity to practice rhythmic and listening skills
  • To have fun singing as a group while celebrating Valentine’s Day

Before You Start:
Cut 10 hearts out of construction paper. Make them generously-sized and easy to read from a distance. (Colorations® Heavyweight Construction Paper is ideal for this project.) Print the numbers 1-10 on each of the hearts and display from a chalk board, white board or a place where everyone can see them.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Talk to the children about the numbers 1-10; this can be related to how we each have 10 fingers and 10 toes.

Step 2.
Practice counting 1-10 with the children.

Step 3.
Point to each of the numbered hearts, counting from 1-10.

Step 4.
Now it’s time for songs! Sing the songs below while pointing at each of the hearts and at each of the numbers. Songs should be sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Repeat them a few times for emphasis. One, two, three, four, five. I’ve got a little heart-shaped jive, Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, I’m going to give it to my friend. It’s a card to say hello, A Valentine surprise, you know! (Repeat.)

Step 5.
Take hearts from board and place back as you sing the song below. A valentine heart for you and me, Add one more and then there’s three. Add another, (place another heart up) And another, (place another heart up) Now we have five altogether! Six and seven and eight and nine, (place one heart up for each number added) ten little hearts for you, Valentine!

Furthermore:
Take the hearts down from the board and scatter on the floor. Have the children point to them and say the numbers. The children can also help put them back in order, and the group can practice counting 1-10 once again. Rote counting and recognizing the numeral symbol for each number does not mean the child has a thorough knowledge of numbers. To add depth to this activity, allow the children to count items, such as blocks or other manipulatives, and show they know how many items equal each number. For example, when talking about the number 5, have the children take a set of blocks and count five blocks. This will add to the cognitive development of the child’s learning about numbers.

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