Instruments and Music Games

Since the parachute is to large for 1 and 2 year olds, I bought a piece of tarp form my local home improvement store. All of the toddlers grab an end , and shake it. They each take turns throwing different sized balls on it. ( well, maybe not take turns) ha, ha . I have never seen them laugh so hard. Try it it’s fun!

Freeze Dance I work with kids that are 2-4 and we love to play freeze dance. Pick any kind of music (the faster the better), have the kids dance to the music and freeze when it stops. The positions are great that the kids end up having.

All you need is a bell and a set of rhythm sticks for a fun movement activity on a rainy/snowy day! ( And it really fine tunes Listening Skills!) “Click” a slow beat on the sticks. Call this “walking music”. Then “click” out a faster beat with the sticks. Call this “jogging music”. Now, ask the children to listen to the sticks’ rhythm. When they hear the “walking music”, they should walk around the room. When they hear the “jogging music”, jog. Now ring the bell. This means “stop and drop”. Now, have fun with the slow and fast beats of the sticks (“walking music” and “jogging music” ) and ring the bell. Now you’ve got the power and your kids have a great physical and auditory workout!

I made some very inexpensive streamers for dancing. I took lids from yogurt containers, cut the centers out so I had plastic rings. Then I cut an old red plastic tablecloth into strips. I also used a white garbage bag cut into strips so I had 2 colors. I then looped then in a knot through the rings. They are easy for small hands to hold. The children love them. I put on disco music and we march and dance around the room waving our streamers up and down and all around. Fun!

On a rainy day, we took wooden paint stirrers and taped them to sturdy paper plates to make a racket. Then we blew up balloons and played balloon tennis. The children can sit spread out on the floor and try to keep the balloons from falling to the ground or each child can have a balloon and see how long he/she can hit the balloon before it touches the ground. It gets out a lot of energy and uses those muscles.

When I used music as a theme with my toddlers, everyday we listened to different types of music. One day was country, so we wore cowboy hats, and at the end of the week we listened to rock and roll and had a sock hop and dressed fifties style. Have you ever seen a one year old with slicked back hair and rolled up tee shirt sleeves?