5 Places Music is Hiding in Your Home


Babies and small children love to make music, and they’ll especially love to make music with you.  Sure, your child’s toy room might be filled with plastic noisemakers and squeaky stuffed animals, but it’s especially fun for your curious youngster to discover “hidden” music throughout the house.Here are five instruments you already own!


Pots and Pans.  How long has it been since you banged pots and pans together?  I get a little impish smile just thinking about it.  It’s not the kind of sound I’d like to hear every day, but what fun to stretch the rules for an afternoon and just make a lot of noise!  You can use different spoons or utensils for variety—give your child a wooden spoon, a plastic spoon, and a metal spoon and watch her explore the different sound each one makes.  You can also play “Marching Band”—show her a YouTube video  of a band member playing the cymbals, and design your own march with a couple of lids and just a few special steps.

Noodle Sand Blocks.  Nancy Stewart of Nancy’s Music offers this great idea:  Use inexpensive foam swimming noodles to make a version of a sand block.  Use a utility knife to cut each noodle into 4-inch pieces, and then cut each piece in half lengthwise.  You end up with a pair of foam pieces that make a fun sound as you rub them together.  Nancy says, “They are washable, inexpensive, colorful and musical!  What more could you want?  I use them with train songs and any song that has wheels, as you can rub them around in circles.  When playing train songs, you can make a train and walk around the room while playing.”


Rubber Band Guitar.  Wrap rubber bands around an old Kleenex box so that they are drawn across the opening in the box.  The bands are fun to strum and pluck!  You can also attach dowels or cardboard cylinders from paper towel rolls to give your child a little handle.

Wax Paper Kazoo.  Using the cardboard cylinder from a toilet paper roll, stretch a square of wax paper across the opening and use a rubber band to secure it (the paper needs to stretch tight).  Poke a small hole in the center of the wax paper that is stretched across the opening.  It’s such a silly delight for kids to practice making the kazoos work—you blow into them a little like a trumpet.  Annie Brunson has a YouTube tutorial for these!

Paper Plate Tambourines.  This is a craft project!  You can make these tambourines yourself, or it can be great fun for a little one who has learned how to tie knots.  Glue two paper plates together, facing each other.  Once dry, punch holes around the edges.  Using a piece of yarn or string, attach a noisemaker to each hole.  Noisemakers could be jingle bells, macaroni, or buttons.  When you’ve tied noisemakers all around the edge of the paper plates, you’ve got a really fun instrument to shake.

Helping your child to discover these hidden instruments has more value than a little noisemaking.  It helps her to develop motor skills, it helps her to recognize rhythm and pattern, and it helps her to experience how vibration is associated with sound.  What’s more, these explorations help her to build a sense of wonder and possibility as she sees ordinary mundane objects transformed into music.


User:  Didriks

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