Hands On Music!

Hands on music

One of my biggest goals as a parent isn’t to fit my son into an idea of who I think he should be but to expose him to as many interests, experiences and cultural offerings I can within my budget and capabilities. I would love to take him to Europe to see my favorite paintings, or to hear an opera in Belfast’s ornate opera house … but he is 3, and even if we had that much money to spend on travel instead of student loans and our mortgage the idea of a jet lagged 3 year old scares me. One day he will see it all, I am determined but until then our cultural experiences are a little closer to home. We often go on field trips on Fridays and we rarely spend more than we have to- here was our latest adventure.

  1. Spend some time  searching through your local sights ( zoo, symphony, children’s museums, art museums, aquarium…) websites. Most will have one day a month ( or more) that are free to the public.  To me this is imperative especially the first time you go somewhere like this , because it’s a great time to test out if your child is ready, if the exhibits will hold their attention, basically if it’s a good fit for your family. You can also check their websites for cool programs, we found out that there was a special ( free) story time included with our free admission! Hands on Music
  2. Pack light but effectively. Obviously with only 1 kid I am able to keep it minimalistic these days. Extra pants, extra undies, a camera, snacks, wallet and it all fits in a small purse.It’s easier to chase after a kid with less baggage ! Hands on music
  3. Eat a meal before you go. A full child is a focused child!
  4. Make sure there is time for free exploration – don’t over schedule your time . If they like a specific exhibit go back to it as much as possible , within reason of course. My son loved the instruments, we went back multiple times.  Hands on Music
  5. Encourage your child to take advantage of anything special – one of the educators took out a trombone to play with and at first my son was shy but with gentle coaxing was playing and talked about this more than anything on the way home. Hands on Music
  6. As I said before take advantage of the special programs, this was music story time where we sang, played drums and listened to a story . Hands on Music
  7. After a big day out nothing is a better than crashing in your car seat on the way home . Hands on music
  8. When you are home keep the learning going with books, printing out pictures and going over what you did and what you learned!


Mole Music

Mole Music by David McPhail is a beautiful book about the power of music, trying hard and not giving up on your dreams.  The story is about a mole who sees a violin on TV one day and decides to get his own and play. He is terrible at first but sticks with it. His music becomes beautiful, and over the years he thinks only he can hear and enjoy it. In reality his music is nourishing a grand tree above the ground that serves roles in great things including as a mediator in a battle where both sides end up coming to a peaceful agreement instead of warfare. Now yes I think that one little mole’s music ending a war is a rather large statement but if you break it down, music and the arts are vital and do transform people’s lives the way they transformed Mole’s.  My favorite part is in one illustration Mole is playing anf in another tunnel you can see his old TV discarded and tipped over, I like that message.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss is a big hit at our house and if you have a child into music or musical instruments this is a great book. You count the instruments as they come on stage for a performance and not only is this a great counting book, but it introduced musical instruments in it’s rhyming text and super fun pictures. I am biased though my little man is really really into instruments and loves this book. The day we bought it I had to sit in the back with him on the way home from the bookstore because he couldn’t wait to read it

Moose Music by Sue Porter

Moose Music by Sue Porter is a goofy book about how what might sound like a racket to you, may indeed be music to other ears. Moose finds a violin in the mid and picks it up, and plays it. The sound is not music to the animals and people in the forest. They get angry, they threaten to chase him, and he doesn’t stick around. He doesn’t stop playing though he plays with all his heart and finally someone appreciates it. A lady moose , as you may have guessed it they fall in love and live happily ever after. My son thought this book was hilarious . It’s a cute lesson about following your heart even in the face of adversity.

You May Also Like :

Shape Banjo
Music Notes
Drum Craft

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  1. wendy says

    I am excited to get those books! My son loves instruments and music, as well. It has been great for him to hear his cousins and an uncle play their instruments (trumpet, violin, various recorders, ukulele). Parades have also been a fun and free exposure to music (including my favorite, bagpipes). He loves watching Yo Yo Ma play the cello on youtube, especially Yo Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin doing Hush Little Baby, and a couple of Sesame Street clips. I will be hunting for a place for him to have more hands-on experiences. Those pics of your son are fantastic. Thanks for this!
    .-= wendy´s last blog ..all decked out in Easter best =-.

  2. Katie says

    Another great idea for free museum trips is to check with your local library. In Massachusetts, many of the libraries have free passes to local attractions that you can check out on your library card, just like a book. If they aren’t completely free, then they will at least offer a significant discount. If your library doesn’t offer this, still check with your children’s librarian for opportunities for discounts. Many business will give us free passes as special promotions. Sign up for summer reading, too! Each year we have whale watching coupons, free entrance into the expensive science museum, and other great offers as giveaways.

  3. Stephanie says

    I love that the instruments are as big as he is! Looks like you had fun.

    It’s so neat (and refreshing) to take the kids to a “yes” environment where they can touch and explore.

  4. says

    I am glad to see someone else doesn’t feel you need to spend money to make your children happy and fulfilled. I am forever taking mine to parks for picnics and to free museums etc and they love it. Even a garden centre is a fab fun place to go with loads of learning opportunities and all it costs is the price of petrol and maybe a plant or two 🙂
    .-= Scentedsweetpea´s last blog ..Easter Holiday Ideas Part 2 – Colouring Eggs =-.

  5. says

    This is great! I wish we had something like that here…probably in SF? We are a musical family so there’s no lack of exposure to music and I think it is one of the best ways to learn. My older daughter was having trouble pronouncing my hometown where my parents live, and I just sang our school song for spirit week (haha!) and she got it!
    .-= Joyce @ Keeping Up With The Moys´s last blog ..Drawing on the Easel =-.


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