Music is a positive way to promote social interactions among children, involving them in rhythm activities and games. Gross and fine motor skills are exercised as children play rhythm instruments and dance. And if they make their own instruments they will have fun along the way.
My "Green" Tambourine
Punch three to five evenly spaced holes around the outside rim of a heavy-duty paper plate (it's best to use paper instead of plastic for this project). Invite the children to decorate their plate with paint, markers, or crayons. Glitter, sequins or stickers may be added as well. An adult can help the child to tie on several jingle bells in the holes. Elastic thread works well. Children can hold the plate in their hands and shake it. They may also tap the tambourines against their bodies.
Click Those Castanets
If you can find some metal bottle caps you will be all set to make this project. Have an adult punch a hole in the middle of each bottle cap using a hammer and a nail. Be sure to flatten out any sharp edges. Take a one-inch by six-inch strip of heavy cardboard and invite children to use paint or markers to decorate the strip. Then, have the adult punch a hole an inch from each end of the cardboard strip using the hammer and nail.
Place a bottle cap face down over one of the holes in the cardboard strip, lining up the hole in the strip with the hole in the cap. Thread string through the holes and knot them. Repeat this process on the other side. Help the children fold the cardboard strip in half with the bottle caps on the inside. The children can hold the folded end of the cardboard strip in one hand and click the bottle caps together by squeezing the cardboard.
Store-bought instruments may be okay, however, the making of musical instruments offers children fun, great hands-on experience, and the pride of ownership of a project made alone.
*Instrument ideas have been taken from Shake, Tap and Play a Merry Tune by Tania K. Cowling
Photo by Tania Cowling, all rights reserved