Earth Day Musical Activity

Earth Tambourine !
We have been talking a lot about planet earth and music at our house. I decided to mix the two together to celebrate the earth with some home spun music. I used ribbon to secure the two plates together but if I could have found my stapler, I would have used it. Stapling is by far the best way in my opinion to keep the plates together.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 paper plates,something to make some sound ( bigger is better- pasta, O cereal) some green crayons, blue paint, a large brush or sponge( we used this sponge because my son saw it and he insisted, a regular sponge would work great), a stapler or a hole punch and ribbon.
  2. Give your child the plates and have them draw the land of the earth with green crayons. They need to press hard for the wax to be think enough for the paint to be repelled. After I showed my son how to press hard and make the green dark he was good to go. Do both plates.
  3. Cover the plates with the blue paint.The paint should be repelled from the wax, if the paint is covering it, just blot it with a paper towel. Do the 2nd plate, let dry.
  4. If you are doing the ribbons for securing the plates, punch the holes in both plates at the same time, make sure the holes are close enough together that the stuff inside doesn’t fly out.
  5. Put the pasta or cereal Os inside ( I’m using cereal Os because they were left out after an unfinished snack yesterday and I thought that is a perfect example of not wasting! ).
  6. Tie the plates together with the ribbons. Or if you are stapling, now is the time!
  7. Make some music and celebrate our wonderful world!

Books!

” The Adventures Of A Plastic Bottle “ by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2 year olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also the book was printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.

“It’s Earth Day” by Mercer Mayer . In this book in the Little Critter series, we follow along as Little Critter tries to make a climate change machine to reverse the effects of global warming. Along the way other green choices are explained like taking the school bus instead of each child being driven in their own cars, not letter water run, and the three Rs.

“BIG EARTH, Little Me “ by Thom Wiley is a cute introduction into an environmental theme for toddlers. The book is a lift the flap format and the pages are extra sturdy for fumbly toddler fingers. I love the illustrations by Kate Endle they bring the super simple text to life, and get across the point that even little kids can help the earth.

Music Man – Guitar Craft For Kids

 

I am not sure if I have shared my son’s insane love of musical instruments with you or not, well I guess I just did. He loves them, especially trumpets, guitars and upright bases. The easiest of the three to recreate during art time, is the guitar by far. This little creation has been played with for almost a week and has held up well, I hope you have as much fun with it as we have.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard, scrap piece of black construction paper, tape, sharp scissors, 3 metallic pipe cleaners, and lots of markers.
  2. Draw a simple guitar on the cardboard. Perfection is not required, as long as your child can guess that it’s a guitar you are fine.
  3. Have your color it with markers. I chose markers over paint because you have to wait for paint to dry and this is a project you want to play with immediately.
  4. Cut out the black oval for the hole while your child is coloring.
  5. Tape the oval on.
  6. Cut out the guitar.
  7. Poke 3 holes o the neck of the guitar, and 3 corresponding ones at the base.
  8. Thread your pipe cleaners through , bend and tape the pipe cleaners on the back side.
  9. Tape over the tape a few times so the pipe cleaners are secure and no sharp bits can peek through.
  10. Rock out!

Books !

“Tuba Lessons” by T.C. Bartlett is a book about a little boy walking to his tuba lesson and all the things he encounters along the way. The book has very limited text but tells a sweet story effectually without it. Younger children will need a parent to help spark the story with questions about what’s happening but even my 2 year old clued into the music notes getting bigger when there was a louder sound and smaller when it was quiet. Grab it and see what I am talking about.“This Jazz Man” by Karen Ehrhardt is my new favorite book. The book updates the classic children’s song “This Old Man” and inserts all different men in a jazz band, however at the end of the book it explains that each jazz man is actually a real person including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and more! I love the bios at the end of the book because I want to learn more about jazz too. Ok back to the book, the book itself is a counting book,and my son eats it up, he loves calling out the number and instrument as I read the rhyme. He has had me read it countless times today and I haven’t minded one bit,the pictures by R.G. Roth are adorable, and all in all I just love this book!

 

Naptime Creation – La la la !

Paint Some Music!

Although my son did some of the steps in this project, I did far too much of it for me to really say he did it. However school age children would be able to every step so I am posting it as a Naptime Creation, which for those new here are projects for school age kids. Activities like this help to explore the basics of music and can be a way to see if your child is interested in exploring the subject further .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a cereal box, marker, 2 pieces of construction paper, paint , glue , a ruler and scissors. * You may also want some sheet music where you can show your child that musicians use this to tell them what to play, depending on your child’s age and knowledge you can go into notes, clefs etc… I grabbed some and showed my son explaining it very simply.
  2. Have your older child use the ruler to make the staff – they need to draw 5 lines in total, cut out when you are done.
  3. Next grab the cereal box and cut it open. Have your child draw some notes , we chose 2 eighth notes and a quater note. I didn’t even try to explain those to my son, he simply pointed to ones he wanted to make in a song book. With older children you can explain the basics .
  4. Time to paint. All ages can do this no problem! We are using a pastry brush but any brush will do. Let dry.
  5. Glue your staff onto the other piece of construciton paper.
  6. Cut out your notes.
  7. Glue on. Here I just let my son glue them on where he wanted, but with older children you can have them specifically choose notes.
For the musically un inclined ( or totally deficient like me!) here is a link that teaches the very basics so you can introduce these concepts. I couldn’t remember much from my jr. high band days and had to look up some terms. The site isn’t child focused but will bring parents who need it up to being able to explain the very basics.

Paper Plate Tambourine

 

When I tested the sound of pasta in these paper plates last night , my son who was already in his PJs and ready for bed jumped up from his dad’s lap where he was reading and ran into the kitchen begging for it!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 paper plates of the same size, some uncooked pasta, a stapler, some ribbon, tape and whatever you choose to decorate your tambourine. We used a sponge paint brush , paints and glitter paint.
  2. Mix your paint colors if you are using paints. I love doing this because it’s an easy hands on color mixing lesson , and my son adores to ” mix mix mix” !
  3. Start painting both paper plates. I am using a sponge brush because it helps keep the paint very very thin, and it will dry faster so we can make music asap! Let both plates dry.
  4. Add on the ribbons, I am taping them to hold them in place when I staple . Also this way your child can choose where to put them!
  5. Scoop pasta onto one plate. I am using big penne pasta so that I can space out the staples and nothing will fall out. You can use rice, dried beans etc… but you will have to staple or glue it together carefully so you aren’t vacuuming up rice for the next week!
  6. Place the 2nd plate on top and staple away!
  7. Now go make music!

D is for Drum


Drum!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need an old beverage mix container, or coffee can. We are using a huge Lemonade can because my husband drinks far too much of it. You will also need some tissue paper, glue, some tape, a pastry or paint brush and a small plate or plastic lid.
  2. Tape or glue down the plastic lid to the drum.
  3. Pour some glue onto a plastic lid or plate , you will be brushing on the glue with the paint brush .
  4. Have your child paint on the glue. I was shocked how well my little guy did, as long as no glue was dripping off the brush he didn’t even try to eat it. Normally he has a hankering for glue.
  5. Cover the can in big pieces of tissue paper. I used a dark color so you couldn’t see the writing on the container but if you are using a container that is free of all that you can skip this step.
  6. While your child is covering the can with big pieces, cut out some smaller pieces of tissue in contrasting colors.
  7. Glue those on.
  8. Let dry.
  9. Start making music! ( I swear my child isn’t always in sleepers, we usually do art in the early am , and he was drumming away right before nap. )

Books!

D is also for Diggers!


I know I have reviewed some Digger books before but my son is still in LOVE with diggers so I have a bunch of them. Now that I am back from vacation I will head to the library for a new stack tomorrow!

” Dig Dig Digging” by Margaret Mayo was an instant favorite as soon as my son opened it last night. I bought it without pre reading it at all , hoping that just the fact there was a digger on the front my son would love it. The book is so much better than I expected. It goes through all different types of vehicles, not just diggers and the text uses a repetitive format that kids love. The best part is the opening line of each page where is says what each vehicle is good at. ” Diggers are good at dig dig digging!” ” Tractors are good at pull pull pulling!” are just two of the many. I love this because it had my son trying to say it and by the 3rd reading he was saying it along with me. Great book for toddlers and preschoolers!

” Good Morning Digger” by Anne Rockwell is not going to be put onto my must buy list. It just seemed flat and boring. The story follows a vacant lot and the digger that comes it to start construction on what will transform into a community center. There really weren’t any characters and the text seemed unenthusiastic. To make matters worse I think I have to pay a late fee at my library on this one.