1. Musical statues and musical chairs
Musical statues or musical chairs is an excellent game for developing auditory discrimination. Children have to listen carefully to the difference between sound and silence and engage their entire bodies during play. You can play musical statues only with your child, but musical chairs are best played with at least 3 or 4 family members or friends. They both work different motor skills, so you should try them out. Musical statues are great for developing body control and strengthening your body in the “freeze” positions. Musical chairs, on the other hand, teach children to move through things and get a feel for their position in space as they run around trying to find a chair to sit on, without hitting others.
How to play musical statues:
Play music on a CD player or cell phone. While the music plays, everyone dances around the room. One person in charge of the game stops the music every now and then and everyone should freeze in the exact position they were dancing in when the music stopped.
If you move, you are “out”. For young children, it’s a lot of fun to keep freezing without anyone “going out.”
How to Play Musical Chairs:
Place chairs around the room (one for each player). Play music on a CD player or cell phone. As the music plays, everyone dances around the room. Again the person in charge should remove a chair while everyone dances, then they stop the music every now and then and everyone should run and sit in one of the chairs. Whoever did not get to the chair on time is “out”.
Repeat, removing one chair at a time until two people remain and the one who sits first in the remaining chair is the winner
2. Pass the parcel
Traditionally played at birthday parties, this game is not new. Play at home and you will make your children move and listen carefully. It can be played in two (going back and forth), but if there are 3 or more players, you can pass the parcel around from one to the next in a circle formation.
How to play Pass the pack:
Wrap any object in many layers of newspaper or wrapping paper. You could back cookies and wrap them in the center, get the kids to help wrap, or even to help to make the paper by decorating the newspaper with paint beforehand. Make the layers easy to remove. Play music on a CD player or cell phone. The package is passed clockwise (teach your child this word while doing so!) When the music stops, the person holding the package can remove a wrap layer. When the music continues, the packet continues to be passed along, until the music stops again and another layer is removed.
The person who removes the final layer of wrapping to reveal the package is the winner.
Change direction for each new round (clockwise to counterclockwise).
Make sure the package is received with both hands and passed to the next person with both hands (to make sure you cross the middle line, which is a good exercising technique )
3. A little elephant
In this game, you will teach your children to count and understand how numbers increase in value by 1 each time, and will also practice the important ability to balance and walk in a straight line.
These are the lyrics:
A small elephant swinging
step by step on a piece of string.
I thought it was tremendous fun.
(Insert name) called another elephant to come.
Two little elephants …
Three little elephants …
Five little elephants swinging
Step by Step. a piece of string
Then the rope broke and everyone fell. ¡
No more little elephants!
How to Play A Little Elephant:
Put a piece of string on the floor. Start the game by being the first elephant to walk the length of the rope and use your arms to balance yourself. Sing the song together. Choose a child to join the second verse and continue until all the players walk step by step on the rope. For the last verse, the rope breaks and everyone collapses on the floor
4. How many instruments can you hear?
In this game, the objective is to listen and identify different instruments. Your child must have had some exposure to the instruments and recognize the basics. But if not, it’s a fun way to learn about the different instruments.
We have included some videos you can play.
How to play How many instruments?
Play a song on a CD player or cell phone. Any Song with various instruments will do (try the song below or search YouTube for the instrumental version of songs) You and your child each have a piece of paper and you must draw the instruments you hear. At the end of the song, compare drawings and see who heard the most amount of different instruments.
Here is a song you can use to identify various instruments:
5. Match the Sounds
For this activity you will need a variety of basic instruments (or even handmade or improvised instruments). The goal is to listen to the music and try to find the right instruments that match or blend well with the sound. Play a song and use your instruments to play along.
Hitting a triangle (or two pieces of cutlery together) for small, loud sounds. Hitting the drums or a box for a slow deep voice. Bang the cymbals together (or pot lids) for a loud, high sound. Shake or rattle bells or a tambourine for fast music. There are no rules here. Demonstrate a song first by making suggestions about what elements might match the sounds and ask for your child’s input. Then play songs and let your child freely play their choices with music.
6. Draw the music
In this activity, children literally draw music as they listen to it. Provide pieces of paper and pencils or wax crayons and ask your child to draw what he hears.
They could draw:
How the music makes them feel. Draw wavy lines or zig-zags to represent slow, flowing music or fast, choppy music. Draw the rhythms they hear (for example, drawing short and long lines for short and long sounds)
Allow your child to surprise you with the way he interprets and draws music. Draw your own performance at the same time and see how your images differ.
At Shine Music School we are offering A free trial online music lesson. We also rent instruments!
Thanks to Empowered Parents for some of the great ideas here, visit their blog to find more activities and other useful musical info.