Music unites us all. The infectious beats, percussions, the way it moves us to get up and move in sync. Even as kids, music has a funny way of reaching out to us. With each pulsating beat, every rhythmic rhyme, we just can’t get enough of musical blends. But therein lies the question; how do you introduce fun music activities for preschoolers?
The following list encompasses of 10 tried and tested methods that are widely used by music teachers the world over:
1. Building your own instruments – Shakers / Maracas
For this super fun and easy music activity for kids, all you need are empty bottles or empty soda cans, tape, paper, and any of the following: sand, uncooked rice, small pebbles or beads. Fill the container with any of those ingredients (but not until it’s full as you’ll need space for it to move around!); then wrap the container with paper and tape the ends around, making sure there are no holes in the container for the ingredients to fall out. The child can choose to draw and colour their own design on the surface of the container and voila! You can try playing these shakers to a Latin music track!
2. Musical Storytelling with Percussion instruments
This music activity for kids requires a variety of pitched and unpitched percussion instruments – tambourines, shakers / maracas, xylophones, chimes, handbells, woodblocks, and so on, depending on the elements of your story. You can choose to write your own story! While you then read the story, the child will play the instruments depending on the sound effect or character – for example, if there’s a snake in your story, the child can play the shaker; if there’s some galloping horses in your story, the child can play the woodblock! The possibilities are endless – the child can sing the sound effects too!
3. Handbell songs
This fun music activity for kids is best done with several children. Each child will be assigned a handbell with a specific pitch. Line up the children, and point to the child whenever it’s their turn to play. You can play very simple nursery rhymes such as Mary Had a Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle! What’s important before you start this activity is teaching the children how to play a handbell properly first!
4. Singing simple songs
Singing is a great way to teach kids how to listen to pitch properly and it also increases their vocabulary. You can teach children to sing simple songs such as Lavender’s Blue, Edelweiss, Do-Re-Mi, and if they’re very good, you can even add simple choreography!
5. Do-Re-Mi song with actions
Teaching children the scale is an important part of learning music. This easy music activity for kids will teach them the difference between lower and higher sounds. Start ‘Do’ by touching your feet, ‘Re’ by touching your knees, and slowly go upwards as the pitches rise!
6. Music and Movement
For this simple music activity, you need to select different kinds of music that evoke different kinds of music – for example, the ‘Pink Panther Theme’ can evoke tiptoeing, the ‘William Tell Overture’ can evoke galloping, A waltz can have them dancing gracefully – so on and so forth! Let the children’s imagination run wild as they relate what to hear to how they can move!
7. Musical Clock
This easy music activity for kids is a great way to teach them coordination and rhythm. Play the “Clock Symphony” by Haydn and have the children copy you as you tap the ‘tick-tock’ beats – you can change the body part that you tap on to make sure the children are really following you!
Have the kids dance to the music (preferably more upbeat dance music) and whenever you stop the music, they’ll have to Freeze! Whoever moves when the music stops is out!
9. Draw What You Hear
In this activity for kids, you’ll need to prepare paper, colouring materials, and different kinds of music tracks – an upbeat one, a slow one, etc. For each track, the kids will draw or colour according to what the music makes them feel.
10. Learning about different Instruments
In this activity, you can prepare flashcards of different instruments and YouTube videos of each instrument playing – this is a good way for children to gain more knowledge about different music instruments! Once they’re familiar, you can play a game by making them close their eyes and guess the instrument by hearing!
If you want to inspire musical interest in your children, feel free to check out our music exploration class, which features all these activities.