education

Preschool Percussion: Creating Your Own Do-it-Yourself Orchestra

Children love making music. Step into any preschool or kindergarten classroom, and you will see kids banging and clanging. Anything that jingles can give them the tingles. Young children love bouncing and pouncing, dancing and prancing!

This trip down the daycare centre newmarket is one that they cherish the most.

What could be more fun than creating your own do-it-yourself orchestra? Here are several simple entries that can be made at home or at school. Why not try it out for a youngster’s birthday party or even just a rainy afternoon? Enlist kids to help with these fun musical craft ideas?

 

Bottle Cap Xylophone

To prepare:

You will need a small wooden board. A 2″ x 4″ plank is ideal. Make it as long as you like! Collect several thick nails (at least 2″ long) and a bunch of soda bottle caps. Grab a hammer, a ruler, and a pencil with a sturdy eraser. Now you are ready to begin.

To make:

Make small markings on the flat side of the wooden plank, about 2″ apart. Nail one or more bottle caps (flat side up) at each marking. For different tones, try stacking varying numbers of bottle caps in each spot. Do not pound the nails all the way in, but leave room for the bottle caps to rattle and slide up and down on the nails.

To play:

Set the bottle cap xylophone on a counter, table, desk or other flat surface. Give your little musician a pencil (with a sturdy eraser). Banging on the bottle caps with the eraser will produce lovely musical tones!

Handy Castanets

To prepare:

Got unmatched gloves? Don’t discard them! Grab a glove or two, along with several mismatched buttons and a needle and thread.

To make:

Sew your buttons by hand (aha!) onto the fingertips of each glove. (Jingle bells may also be used.)

To play:

Give each child a glove to wear. By shaking and tapping, your young instrumentalists can make many pleasing percussion sounds.

Recycled Maracas

To prepare:

Save at least two plastic soda bottles, including their caps. (We like the 12-ounce size best.) Gather several small pebbles. You might also pick out some dried beans, corn or other seed grains.

To make:

Wash out soda bottles, and allow them to dry completely. Remove labels, if possible. Toss pebbles or seeds into bottles, and replace caps.

To play:

Simply shake, rattle and roll!

Super Sanders

To prepare:

Save several empty paper towel rolls. Purchase a few sheets of extra-coarse sandpaper. Grab a pair of scissors and some glue.

To make:

Trim sandpaper to fit once around each paper towel roll. Glue sandpaper in place. Be sure to leave a bit of the roll exposed, as this will serve as a smooth handle.

To play:

Give each instrumentalist two super sander rolls. Rubbing them together can be fun and melodic!

Turn Up the Volume!

Once your young musicians have chosen their instruments, you can switch on your favorite song. Try to pick lively music. Let them accompany the tunes you select! You’re making music together!