Best Of 2010


Musical Hearts – Movement Game

As you can see if you click over to the original post,  this video tutorial got quite a few comments but it also got kids moving which in the middle of winter is not always easy. My son loved it and the hearts are still in the drawer of our coffee table ready to play almost a year later. This game can be played anywhere rain or shine, so there is no excuse for kids not getting their whole bodies moving!

What is your favorite way to get your kids moving when they are stuck inside?

Music & Math Activity

This was a fast easy activity I wanted to do to work on my son’s one to one correspondence but using a theme he is head over heels for . This also allowed me to work on the concept of zero.  Since doing this we have been noticing that there are “zero” dinosaurs in the backyard, “zero” boys eating their broccoli at lunch and “zero” children napping! I love it when I stumble on a concept that is new to him and we can work on it in a fun way.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of paper , some yarn, a marker, scissors and glue.
  2. Start by drawing the outline of a guitar on your brown paper . Don’t get hung up on it being perfect, as long as your child can tell it’s a guitar – you are fine!
  3. Cut out. You could also do this whole activity just with paper as a work sheet, but I find that even though the difference isn’t great to us between using a pen or the yarn , I think it is for children. Manipulating the objects really creates an experience.
  4. Next add the details and numbers .
  5. Cut your yarn into short pieces for the strings.
  6. Time to glue! This is the step my son joined me at. Depending on your child’s interest and age you could have them join in whenever. Glue the guitars on.
  7. Identify the numbers and add that many pieces of yarn.


I posted this on my facebook page ) but if you missed it. All my song videos that were originally on my blogger site are frozen so you can see them all here !


Sunny by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman  is a great book about finding sounds all around and making music with anything and everything you find. Sunny hears music from the animals around town, the vehicles and of course his friends playing at the playground.  My son loved when they had a “Hootenanny” and everyone together makes music in their own way. This book reminded me of the broadway show “Stomp” from the 90s, and is a great lesson for kids about how accessible making music really is.

Paper Roll Flutes

Kids Craft Flute
Fantastic musical craft from contributing writer Kim Young! I can’t wait to do this with my little guy .

This craft is a fun way to teach young children about sound.  All you will need are toilet and/or paper towel rolls, markers, wax paper, rubber bands, and scissors. Paper Roll Flute

Have your child decorate the roll however they would like.  You can use crayons, markers, glue and glitter, or stickers.  Whatever you have available will work great.Paper roll flute craftKids musical insrument craft

Cut the wax paper into 3 inch squares, place over one end of the roll, and secure with a rubber band.

Now have your child blow or hum into the roll.  You will know you are doing it properly when you hear the loud vibrations from the wax paper.

Easy Kids Craft

We talked about how the air carried the sound from our mouths, into the tube, and then to the wax paper.  The sound became vibrations again.  When my son questioned the “again” part, I turned on music and sat him on the subwoofer to the surround sound system.  He instantly got the vibration part of sound.

This craft was a fun way to show the scientific side of music to my son.  He mostly just enjoyed his new instrument.  My daughter (only 20 months) really enjoyed making music in these as well.  This craft was not messy, very fast, and provided the kids with hours of enjoyment playing music.  Perfect for a quick craft or a craft at someone else’s house.


Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

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.

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Drum Craft

Musical Hearts Game

musical hearts gross motor game for kidsWe aren’t stuck in a snowstorm but we are stuck waiting for our furnace to be fixed and moving keeps us warm and having fun.  You can write anything on your hearts from numbers they need to identify, to physical tasks like we did to something trickier for older kids. Customize it to your child and have fun.

  1. Gather your materials. I am using foam hearts because they stand up well to being stepped and walked on, but paper would do in a pinch, just dont’ expect it to be used more than once.  You will also need a marker and some music you can pause easily.Preschool Movement Activity
  2. Write out different tasks for your child to do when they come to this heart – mine were mostly physical things: Jump on one foot, crab walk, 5 push ups, break dance etc.. I also included sing the ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Preschool Movement Activity
  3. Lay the hearts out face down in a circle. Preschool Movement Game
  4. Start the music and play. It’s just like musical chairs only when the music stops you do the task on the heart that you were standing on when you stopped. We had a blast! He preferred Bon Jovi to kids music so we were rockin’ out!

I would let them walk ( to the music) longer than we did for the video, we were trying to get a good snapshot for the post. After I put the camera down we all played for another full round.  Fun family time !