Songs, Finger plays, Flannel Board and Group Time Fun

Concepts…
There are many kinds of music. You can go into dept or just leave it at that. Songs can tell stories and can express different moods. There are different musical sounds, high/low, loud/soft and fast/slow using both the vocabulary and tempo aspects of the music.

There are many different types of musical instruments, some are expensive and require long and hard hours practice to learn to play others can cost a small amount of money and lastly many are free with some imagination.

Each instrument has it’s own unique sound and their own unique way of playing them. To give some examples you can play instruments with a stick (drum, triangle and xylophone), with your fingers (piano, guitar and harp), your mouth (harmonica, flute, and trombone) and even your own body (clapping, snapping, humming and singing.

Dressing The Part?…
There is always fun to be had. Have the children wear cowboy hats for country western music day and end your week with rock and roll. Dressing the part poodles skirts, rolled up t-shirt and slick back hair and a good ole’ sock hop to end your week.

The EIEIO Band…
Mrs. (your name) had a band eieio
And in her band she had a drum eieio
with a boom, boom, boom here and a boom, boom there
here a boom there a boom.
Mrs., (your name) had a band eieio.
Continue with other instruments.

How Does It Make You Feel?…
Use the art project happy/sad faces listed below for this activity. Have a selection of music that tell a story either in words or in the tempo within the music.

Instrument Song…
(This Is The Way We Wash Our Clothes)
This is the way we play our [flute]
Play our [flute]
Play our [flute]
This is the way we play our [flute]
When we’re in the band.

Act out playing the instrument as you sing. Substitute other instruments for the instrument in brackets [ ] and change actions accordingly.

Graphing Sounds…
Make up a chart ahead of time to graph sounds, categories of too loud, too soft, just right. There are many different ways that you can do this activity, everything from taking notes on a walk to sounds from your daily routines. Basically, children recall or you name the sound and the children categorize the sound into one of the three choices. Last time I did the activity we took a walk and on our walk we heard a lawnmower, police siren, birds, the wind…you get the idea.

The Finger Band…
(Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush Tune)
The finger band has come to town, come to town, come to town. The finger band has come to town so early in the morning.
This is the way we play the drums (insert instrument of choice), play the drums, play the drums. This is the way we play the drums so early in the morning.
Change the instruments and act out how to play them.
(This is the last verse) The finger band has gone away, gone away, gone away. The finger band has gone away so early in the morning.

Centers

Water Table Fun…
In the science area have available drinking glasses and small pitchers of water and unsharpened pencils…Pour varied levels of water in the glasses and let the children experiment and discover the varied high and low sounds they create by tapping on the various glasses of water with the pencils. Invite them to change the water level in a particular glass and listen for different sounds.

Repeat After Me…
Tape yourself clapping out patterns or you can just clap a pattern in front of the children, whichever you prefer. Children listen to pattern and try to recreate the same pattern after you.

Concert in House Corner…
Items you might consider placing in the house corner, stage with chairs for performance, musical instruments, sheet music, conducting tools, tickets, long black suit coat for conductor, chairs for seating guests and music.

Musical Instrument Memory Match…
Reproduce two identical sets of instruments. Glue one picture onto a blank 3×5 index card, making a matching pair. Play game in same manner as traditional Memory Game.

Games

Freeze Dance…
Play any kind of music, have the kids dance to the music and freeze when it stops. No losers here and everyone enjoys playing!

Paint With All The Colors Of The Wind…
This is something that my daughter classroom did for the weather unit and I though it was cute. Each child had their own colored piece of ribbon and could swing it along to the song Colors of the Wind from the Disney movie.

Name that Tune…
Use a tape that has music, but not the words from familiar childhood songs. Play a small portion of a song for the children. See how long it takes to “Name That Tune”.

Art Projects

Happy/Sad Faces…
Use this idea with how does it make for feel in the group time activity listed above. Have the children cut out a pre-drawn circular shaped happy face and then a sad face. Place them back-to-back. With both face sides facing out, insert a tongue depressor in the middle for a handle.

Finger Paint to Music…
Let the music inspire your young artists and watch the masterpieces transform.

Drums…Use coffee cans or formula cans with plastic snap-on lids or oatmeal container. Use wooden spoons for drumsticks.

Flute…
Punch three small holes along the top of an empty toilet paper roll. Cover one end with piece of waxed paper. The child can hum into the open end & move his finger along the top to create varied musical sounds.

Rhythm Sticks…
Tap wooden dowels or hollow bamboo sticks together to make a rhythm sound.

Rubber Band Guitars…
Stretch six rubber bands around a shoebox & strum.

Sand Blocks…
Cover one side of two blocks with coarse sandpaper. Have the children hold the blocks in their hands with the sandpaper sides facing. They rub the blocks together to the music.

Triangle…
Take clothes hangers and either leave them as they are of cut and make into small triangles. Tie a string on the top. The triangle needs to be suspended to make a nice sound. Use old spoons to tap on them.

Bells…
You can make great jingle bells by using a Chinese jump rope and heavy elastic thread. Cut the Chinese jump rope into lengths that when tied will stretch to fit loosely around the children’s wrist. Form a circle with the lengths of jump rope and tie in a tight knot. Then tie on bells with heavy elastic thread.

Bells 2…
I had the children paint on donated paint stir sticks, and then I drilled six holes down the center. I then had the children thread a two-foot colored ribbon (cloth or paper, in a rainbow of colors) through a small bell then thread both ends of the ribbon through the drilled hole in the paint stir stick. I tied a large knot on the opposite side of the stick as the bell. The end result was six bells on one side and a rainbow of ribbons on the other, with a handle for each child to hold and make beautiful music.

Jingle Bell Gloves…
Take an old or new children’s glove, the stretchy kind is best, then you sew a jingle bell to the end of each finger. You can get the jingle bells in different sizes or you can do them all the same size.

Jingle Sticks…You need to have access to a workbench. Precut small rectangular pieces of wood. Have the children sand the edges smooth and paint in any manner they wish. Pound 2 metal bottle caps (per child) flat. Nail the 2 bottle caps (face to face) to the rectangular stick of wood. Do not nail them tightly to the wood….you want the bottle caps to be able to move and hit against each other when you tap the stick against the palm of your hand. Now you have a jingle stick! (I “think” older 4’s & 5’s could flatten the bottle caps and hammer them on the wood….but as I said before….I have not yet tried it!

Kazoo…
Made from a paper towel roll with wax paper held over one end with a rubber band. The kids decorate them and can also put small holes in them to it seems more like an instrument.

Maracas…
This activity may be one that you want older children or you yourself to complete, read on to see why.

Glue a thick outer coating of strips of newspaper onto the light bulb. Make sure you completely cover the whole bulb and the insert portion. It’s a lot like papier-mâché. Place the bulb inside of a brown paper bag and give it one sharp bang with a hammer near the neck of the bulb. Of course this will break the glass. Shake all of the glass toward the bottom (neck of the bulb).

Punch a small hole, large enough to place small beans into for added rattling. Apply layer of tape and more newspaper strips to cover hole. Let dry completely and paint. Shake your hearts out!

Books, Tapes, Videos and Teaching Materials