Ideas for using music and props in Pre-K and Preschool classrooms.
Find more music ideas on the Art & Music Resource Page
I made numbers on the die-cut machine, glued them to white construction paper and laminated them. We use these with “The Number Game” by Greg & Steve. During the Number Game song, I pass out the cards to all of the kids. If I have 20 kids, there will be four #1’s, four #2’s, four #3’s, and so on. Each child has one number card. When each number is called out in the song, the children who are holding that number stand up and they can dance however they want to.
Big Foam Letters
I made these by cutting sheets of felt in half and hot-gluing them to dowel rods. We use them for “Rainbow of Colors” by Greg & Steve and Jack Hartmann’s “Colors All Around”. The color flags are essential because our kids wear uniforms (I can’t have them stand up if they’re wearing certain colors).
We use these for “There’s a Spider on the Floor” by Raffi.
I put one of each coin in a clear plastic punch cup for use with money songs. I store the cups stacked and they don’t take up much space. The kids enjoy Jack Hartmann’s “Show Me the Money”.
We use the “Bean Bag Boogie” songs from Kids in Motion by Greg & Steve and “Bean Bag Fun” by Kimbo.
I play clips of music with varying tempos for the children to do creative movement with the scarves. I sometimes use classical music, but the children also enjoy it when I put on Disney music.
Some examples of Disney music tempos:
SOFT AND SLOW: A Whole New World (Aladdin), Candle on the Water (Pete’s Dragon), When You Wish Upon a Star, Someday My Prince Will Come, Once Upon a Dream (Sleeping Beauty), God Help the Outcasts (Hunchback of Notre Dame), Colors of the Wind (Pocahontas) .
FAST AND UPBEAT: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat (Aristocats), I Wanna Be Like You (Jungle Book), Mickey Mouse Club March, It’s a Small World, Bare Necessities (Jungle Book), Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, Under the Sea (Little Mermaid), Hakuna Matata (Lion King).
We also use Musical Scarves & Activities by Kimbo.
I sometimes use a purchased set of rhythm band instruments, and sometimes use class sets of homemade instruments. Kimbo has a lot of great CD’s to use with instruments and bean bags. You can also use classical music and authentic international music (see Creative Diversity and Putumayo World Music for Kids).
These can be bought or made by spray painting dowel rods. We use Kimbo’s CDs “Multicultural Rhythm Stick Fun” and “Simplified Rhythm Stick Activities”.
These are plastic Easter eggs filled with rice and hot-glued shut. They are great for “La Cucaracha” and Raffi’s “Let’s Make Some Noise”. I bought those songs from iTunes for $0.99.
These are craft store jingle bells strung on a pipe cleaner. I bent the pipe cleaners in a hoop and twisted the ends together. I’ve also seen these made with the metal rings from the office supply store.
I had originally made my own set of castanets. These are made with rectangles of poster board folded over into a square. The square is about 2 1/2 inches. The inside has a button hot-glued on each side that tap together when the children squeeze the castanet closed. I later found some wooden castanets at Target’s dollar spot, and purchased a class set. Flamenco music is perfect for these, but other songs can be used.
Make a drum for each child using peanut cans, drink mix cans, or mini Pringles cans. Decorate the outside and either drum on them with your hands, or use unsharpened pencils or dowel rods for drumsticks.
Some years I don’t have enough cans available for a class set, so we make drums with sturdy disposable plates (Chinet works great). The children paint the bottom of the plate. To use this, we set the plates on the floor upside down, and drum on the bottom of the plate with our hands.
My Favorite CD’s
Rhymin’ to the Beat Vol. 1 & 2
Math in Motion
Math All Around Me
All Day Long
Kiss Your Brain
Greg and Steve:
Kids in Motion
Free Dance Music:
CD’s for Music Props & Instruments:
Multicultural Rhythm Stick Fun
Bean Bag Fun
Rhythms on Parade
Musical Scarves & Activities
Simplified Rhythm Stick Activities (Kimbo)
“Bean Bag Boogie” song (Greg & Steve Kids in Motion)
“Rock N Roll Rhythm Band” song (We All Live Together Vol. 5 by Greg & Steve)
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