We’ll say it — this winter has been nasty. It feels like there’s hardly anything left to do except wait for spring to finally arrive. While you’re dreaming of sunnier days and warm afternoons by the lake, our preschool and child care center has a number of crafts and activities for your young ones to enjoy at home.
After all, we don’t want to wish away the time that we’re currently in (though it’s pretty hard not to when you’re experiencing a Minnesotan winter in March). These musical craft ideas will help your child (and you!) have fun while you’re cooped up inside from the cold by combining art and music. Try these activities out, and contact Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center to tour one of our schools in Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, and Plymouth!
Making your own instruments is a fabulous activity for your preschooler to partake in. It’s creative, it requires imagination and innovation, and it also works on rhythm and music skills — all of which are excellent to have and practice. Here are a couple instruments you can try making, though for children under the age of 4, you should be wary of some materials that could be choking hazards.
Take bowls and pots of different sizes, and cover them tightly with different materials (using a rubber band is helpful). Wax paper, thin cloth (like a scrap from a bedsheet), or paper are some examples, though you can always encourage your preschooler to think of other thin materials that could work.
If it’s paper on the top or a scrap of cloth, your child can decorate their drum cover with coloring materials. There are also some great videos on YouTube about drumming and drum art that you can watch with your child first, which also helps build context and gets them excited about the activity.
Save those toilet paper and paper towel rolls! You and your child can decorate these with markers, glitter, puffballs, or anything else you can think of. Next, think of some materials that could fill them to make a great shaking noise — dry beans or rice work great, but you could also try some coins too. Cover one section with a similar material to the drums, allow your child to help fill them (ideally they should be filled about a third of the way), and then cover the other end.
Some things to talk about with your child: What happens to the sound if the tube is filled all the way up? What if there’s only three beans in the entire shaker? Which materials make the sound higher? Which shaker makes the lowest sound? All of these questions add on an academic and reflective layer. You get into the science of music while helping your child grow in their musical intelligence, and they’ll also work on their fine motor skills by decorating their shaker. This activity is instrumental to your child’s growth.
A guitar is pretty simple to make — all you need is an empty Kleenex box or a few different sizes of Tupperware containers and some rubber bands! Try using rubber bands of different thicknesses to get different sounds, and if you do different containers with one or two rubber bands, have your child sort the “guitars” from lowest to highest sounds (as best as they can).
Of course, once you have all these instruments together, it’s time to start up the band! A band poster is a fun and creative thing to make (and it looks pretty adorable when your preschoolers are performing with a band poster or banner strung up behind them). Here are a couple decorating ideas:
- Outline Letters: Draw the letter outlines of the band name that your kids come up with in pencil, then have them practice tracing over the letters with marker to practice making their letters and fine motor skills. You can also have the kids decorate inside the letters (and feel free to divide up the letters to help with making it fair, and to help with letter recognition!).
- Homemade Stamps: So many random objects can be repurposed into decorative stamps! You can try cutting different shapes out of a potato or carving designs into one, you can cut out pieces of an old sponge — the sky’s the limit! This is also a great opportunity to practice naming shapes — but for younger kids, maybe focus on only two shapes, such as triangles and circles. Then, have your child dip the stamps into paint and decorate your band poster!
Have older kids who you want to get involved? They can help with decorating, but otherwise have them film the performance or the “behind the scenes” or making the band. If they feel like trying their hand at making movies, iMovie is a really easy-to-use platform that has fun effects to make your documentary great.
Winter can be a pain, but when you bring your child to daycare or preschool at Yellow Brick Road, they’ll be able to beat the winter doldrums with fun crafts and activities, just like these. With programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and more, Yellow Brick Road has the early childhood programs to help every child thrive. Visit one of our locations today — call us to set up a tour! We look forward to hearing from you.