Friday, January 28, 2011


Next week's theme is all about instruments!

Book Suggestions:

The Story of the Orchestra by Robert T. Levine
Jamari's Drum by Eboni Bynum
Two Sticks by Orel Protopopescu
Ben's Trumpet by Rachel Isadora
Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb by Al Perkins
Toot, Toot Miss Maisy by Lucy Cousins
Zin, Zin, Zin a Violin by Lloyd Moss


Coffee Can Drum:
Materials: tin coffee can, construction paper, glue or tape, scissors, crayons or makers
Description: You and your toddler can make a homemade drum by cutting a piece of construction paper big enough to fit around a tin coffee can. Secure the construction paper with glue or tape. Your toddler and use markers or crayons to decorate their drum. Put the lid on the coffee can, and let your toddler practice hitting it with their hands, sticks, cooking utensils or anything else that you find around your house! Use the drum and march around as if they were in a marching band!
Skills Targeted: understand and appreciate muscial instruments, enhance creativity and imagination, sensory development
Materials: empty water bottle, rocks beans rice or anything else to fill the bottle with.
Description: There are many ways that you and your toddler can make a shaker together. One of the easiest ways is to fill an empty water bottle with rocks, beans, rice or anything else that will make a shaking sound inside the bottle. You can wrap the bottle with construction paper and have your toddler decorate it also. Fill several different water bottles with different objects and listen to the difference in the sounds as you shake them. Have fun shaking!
Skills Targeted: understand and appreciate muscial instruments, enhance creativity and imagination, sensory development

Materials: empty shoe box with lid, scissors, rubber bands
Description: You and your toddler can make a guitar together by following these simple steps. First cut a circular hole in the lid of the shoe box. Place the lid on the box and wrap several rubber bands around the box (make sure the rubber bands lay over the opening in the lid.) Pluck the rubber bands to make a fun guitar type sound.
Skills Targeted: understand and appreciate musical instruments, motor skill development, sensory development

Clap to the rhythm:
Description: Clapping on rhythm is a fun skill for toddlers. You can help them by showing them how to clap on beat. Play a simple music or sing a simple song. Clap to the beat of the song and have your toddler join in. You can also use rhythm sticks to do this activity. If you do not have actual rhythm sticks use sticks from the yard or large wooden spoons.
Skills Targeted: understand rhythm, sensory development, listen to the beat, motor skill development, following directions

Pots and Pans:
Materials: pots and pans, wooden or plastic kitchen spoons
Description: Kitchen utensils make wonderful instruments. While you are cooking dinner one evening, allow your child to sit in the kitchen with you and make music. Give them several pots and pans (turned upside down) and wooden or plastic spoons. Let them hit the pots and pans with the spoons as if they were playing the drums.
Skills Targeted: understand and appreciate muscial instruments, sensory development, motor skill development, enhance creativity and imagination

Hand Hand Fingers Thumb:
Materials: The book Hand Hand Fingers Thumb, a toy drum or anything around the house that could be used for a drum
Description: Read the book to your toddler. Talk about how the monkeys played the drum in the book. Have your toddler play their toy drum with their hand, fingers, and thumb. You could also encourage them to use other body parts to hit their drum.
Skills Targeted: develop listening skills, sensory development, following directions, understand the body and it's parts

Materials: Pan lids
Description: Two pan lids act as cymbals. Your toddler will love to make "music" by clapping them together.
Skills Targeted: understand and appreciate muscial instruments, motor skill development, sensory development, enhance creativity and imagination.

Description: This is a fun pattern/repitition activity to do with your toddler. Clap a sequence for your toddler. Start simple, for example, clap-clap-clap. Encourage your toddler to repeat the sequence that you just clapped. Continue this over and over, mixing up each sequence.
Skills Targeted: repitition, following directions, listening skills, understand rhythm, sensory development

Materials: a piece of cardstock or thin cardboard, jingle bells, yarn, hole punch
Description: Cut out a circle from a piece of cardstock or thin cardboard. Have your toddler help you punch holes all the way around the circle. Next tie a jingle bell to each hole using a piece of yarn. Your toddler can decorate their tamborine using markers, stickers etc. Encourage your toddler to play their tamborine. Have them tap it on their hands, legs, head, belly etc. as you call out each body part. Your little one can also use their tamborine to tap to the beat of song or repeat rhythm sequences that you make.
Skills Targeted: understand and apprecitate muscial instruments, enhance creativity and imagination, understand the parts of the body, follow directions, sensory development, develop listening skills

Water Glasses:

Materials: drinking glasses, water, spoon

Description: Fill several drinking glasses with different amounts of water. Teach your toddler how to tap on the side of each glass to hear a different sound. Encourage your toddler to "play" the water glasses. They can tap on the glasses to the beat of a song or repeat different rhythms. To extend this activity add different color food coloring to the water. Have your toddler hit the colors as you call them out.

Skills Targeted: understand and appreciate muscial instruments, sensory development, listening skills, motor skill development, color recognition, following directions

Songs and Fingerplays:

10 Little Drums:

1 little 2 little 3 little drums
4 little 5 little 6 little drums
7 little 8 little 9 little drums
10 little drums in the band.

(subsitute the word drum for other instruments. Pretend to play these instruments while you sing the song)

(sung to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes)

Drum, trumpet, guitar, piano
tuba, violin
Drum, trumpet, guitar, piano,
tuba, violin.
I can make music
by playing these instruments.
Drum, trumpet, guitar, piano

The Beat:

Clap your hands,
Stomp your feet,
Snap your fingers to the beat.
(clap, stomp and snap to a familar beat with your toddler)

Use your child's new homemade instruments to play along to familiar songs.

Online Fun:

Instruments of the Orchestra:
Check out DSO Kids to listen to different orchestra instruments.

Peter and The Wolf:
Peter and the Wolf is a wonderful story for children of all ages to listen to and learn about different instruments. The Naperville County School District provides a fun link to read the story, listen to the instruments, and even make your own fingerpuppets.

Sesame Street Videos:

Sesame Street has some cute videos on their website about different instruments. Check these out:

Telly Plays the Triangle

Evelyn Glennie plays the drums

Tuba and Drum Cooperation

Thumb Piano:
Check out PBS Kids to play, record, and listen to a Thumb Piano.

1 comment:

Lawrence Halter said...

Develop the kiddos' music skills from things found at home? Nice, is it not? Just as Sinichi Suzuki (of the Suzuki Method of music teaching) believes, toddlers, at their early age, can readily learn music in the same way as learning their language. Now with these easy-to-make homemade instruments, kids and parents alike can bond together over music.

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