This December our preschool theme is Sights and Sounds from Mother Goose Time. We’re starting with Wonder About Orchestra in Lessons 1-5 which is about the sound of drums, woodwinds, horns, stringed instruments, and piano. See What’s in the Box for Sights and Sounds of Winter here (slight changes for 2018).
So much to wonder about orchestra! Music plays an important role in our culture, including for children. Music allows us to communicate without words. When exploring music, children hear sounds and tones. Music helps both the body and mind develop.
The Sound of Drums
Day 1- drums! One of the most fun instruments for kids. Unfortunately, we no longer have any toy drums but no problem! We have lots of items that can be used as a drum. Let’s get creative!
This little basket turned over makes an awesome drum!
Plastic candy canes on overturned boxes sound cool too.
Little man has to take a turn!
Name Beats Literacy and Drum Communication Community Challenge
We had so much fun with both of these activities! First, for name beats we explored about many syllables or beats are in our names. We patted our knees one time for each beat in our friend’s names. E-li, E-li, Eli…then Kay-den, Kay-den, Kay-den, etc. The kids catch on really fast to this concept. We did it two days in a row because it’s so much fun.
The Drum Communication Community Challenge is similar:
How do you communicate with someone far away? Explain that in some cultures, drums were used to send messages.
Encourage one child to pound a beat on the floor or on a drum (we used our knees).
Invite the other children to respond by repeating that same beat.
Continue taking turns as the leader.
Finding Instruments Memory Match Game
First, we looked at all the instruments on the cards and identified them. Then we took turns finding matches. It’s not easy for young children to sit and wait for their turn or just turn over two cards but it is still a good experience. They can do it with some reminders! Children need lots of practice to gain these important skils.
One child turned over these two cards. The cello and violin look so similar but not the same! It was disappointing but it gave me an opportunity to point out the differences between the instruments
Working with a mixed age group from 22 months – 5 years is challenging but the younger ones learn so much from the older kids. Here our little guy is playing the memory match game too!
Sounds All Around Us
We read this book, Sound and Hearing. It’s a quality book with beautiful pictures of different kinds of drums and features people around the world. It also explains how sound moves in waves and how the ear works.
Pellet Drum Make & Play Craft
The pellet drum Make and Play craft was awesome! The kids colored their paper plates and beaded their yarn while I helped glue the paper plates, straws and yarn together with hot glue.
This is a durable design for a paper plate drum instrument. The straw has to be in far enough so the plate part isn’t “floppy” on the top.
The drums made a fun sound and my group enjoyed playing with them.
Heading out the door for the day with his treasure that may or may not irritate his parents!
Sensory Shaker Jars
The sensory Shaker Sounds jars is a simple, extra idea that extends the lesson on sound. Using three small plastic jars (I found these at Michael’s), I filled one with gems (from Craft Project Ideas)
Sensory shaker jars filled with small and colorful objects are enticing to look at but even more fun to shake! (Be sure to close tightly or glue tops on and supervise while they are being used.)
They can be super loud but the kids met the challenge when I asked them if they could shake them softly. They were also able to identify which jar made the loudest, or highest sound and which made the lowest sound. They pretty much just want to shake them as loud as possible!
More orchestra Sights and Sounds posts coming up! Along with the sound of drums, we also had fun with woodwinds, horns and stringed instruments this week. We’ll also be learning about indoor and outdoor sounds.