Every year in March, I get to bring to light something near and dear to my heart. As an elementary music teacher, part of my job is to advocate for my students and for the music program on my campus that does so much for every single one of them, whether they know it or not. March is National Music In Our Schools Month, but since schools are not in session right now, I’ve compiled a short list of activities for kiddos to do at home to keep them singing, dancing, and thinking about music in day-to-day life. Music does so much for each one of us, especially in difficult and stressful times.
Here are musical activities to do while your kids learn from home:
Resources and Activities for Primary Grades
YouTube is a FANTASTIC resource for young kids. At this age, a huge part of what we do is singing and movement. Here are a few YouTube Channels to check out. I recommend encouraging your child to copy the motions, sing along, invent their own dance moves to represent different sections of the music. This is also a great way to get their energy out!
- Prodigies Music Lessons – There are lots of great singing and music literacy activities on this channel. Set several up on a playlist and let them go! Some of these do require specific musical instruments, so unless you happen to have access to them, I’d skip those and go for the singing videos.
- The Learning Station – This is one of my favorites for the littlest ones who love lots of silly movement. My 5-year-old loves the songs! These are also great for setting up a playlist on your SmartTV, Chromecast, or even your table and letting them sing and copy the motions.
- Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel – Sing, dance, exercise, learn simple math and sight words.
Other simple at home activities for younger students
- Play 20 minutes of classical music for your children and color or draw what they think the music feels like.
- Read children’s nursery rhymes. These little rhymes are the building blocks of so many early childhood songs!
- Have your kids tell you about a song they heard on TV/at the grocery store/in the car. What did it sound like? How did it make you feel?
- Use random household objects to create your own musical instrument. Paper plates, beans, disposable plastic cups, duck tape, old shoe boxes, rubber bands. Then play some upbeat Disney music and have a family jam session!
- If you play an instrument or have one tucked in a storage closet at home, this is a great time to pull it out and let them have some hands on time getting to know how it sounds!
Resources and Activities for Upper Elementary Grades
Classics for Kids has lots of composer biographies and printable word searches, coloring sheets and other activities that can be used for a weekly music time.
Listening Adventures is a game that is sponsored by Carnegie Hall. Students go on a virtual adventure to track down and learn about each instrument of the orchestra. This can be done completely online and completely free!
Other simple activities for upper elementary students
- Play 20 minutes of music from different genres, (jazz tunes, movie soundtracks, Disney songs, piano solos, etc) and have your kids describe what they hear. How does the music make them feel? What instruments or singing voices do they hear? Do they like this style of music? Why or why not? This is not only an opportunity to expose your child (and yourself) to different types of music, but this also gets them writing, thinking critically, and expressing their opinion.
- In reality, big kids are just little kids in bigger bodies, so go ahead and play some of those fun YouTube videos with silly dance moves for them. Do the Cha Cha slide or follow a Just Dance video online to get them moving and giggling. They’ll think it’s weird until they realize how much fun they’re having. Have family karaoke time in your living room. Tell them about your favorite memories involving music. This is a great opportunity to connect with your kid in a new and memorable way.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas in which you can incorporate simple music activities into your child’s day as they spend time learning at home. I’m sure there are many other resources out there, so if you have a favorite that I left off, feel free to link or share in the comments!