Category Archives: Family Fun

A Rhythm Tree For Earth Day Or Any Day

Here’s a great project for Earth Day or a summer camp or group play activity. It’s a fun way to combine recycling and reusing materials with discovering rhythm and creative music-making.

A while back, we did a post about rhythm trees and you can find that listed below.  But since we also get questions about the best components for this project, we thought we’d share a list here, just in time for outdoor musical fun.

And remember, if you don’t have the perfect music tree, you can also do this project on a clothesline or between poles on a playground.

So here’s our top suggestions.

Pizza Pie Plate Gong

STARR GARDENS - a few instruments for Rhythm TreeThese sound great and provide a nice large surface for tapping and drumming. Look for used metal containers such as turkey pans or pizza pie plates. They can be painted and decorated and hung at various heights from your tree or clothesline. If you can find trash can lids or used pans or pots that aren’t too heavy, they might make a nice addition to the project as well.

Milk Jug Rattle

Rhythm tree - clothesline instrumentsClean a large plastic container and add some rattling components inside. Decorate the outside of the container, if you like as well.  Seal it up and hang it for a nice sound when tapped. If you hang it low enough, kids can also grab and shake or “swoosh” the container for a different kind of percussion sound.

A Giant Guiro

rhythm tree - paper towel roll guiroThreading together wrapping paper or poster tube rolls makes for a giant guiro. Take a stick or a whisk and brush it down the sides for a fun repeating percussive sound.

 

Hanging Log Drum

rhythm tree playing tubeIf you can find a large tube like these, you can hang it up and play it like the type of log drums found in Africa, the Pacific Islands or the Northern Native American tribes, like the Inuit.  Tapping different sections of the drum will produce slightly different sounds – what fun!

Play With Your Hands – Or With Recycled Mallets

homemade guiro and 6 raspsSome of the instruments you hang can be tapped or played with your hands. Easy mallets can also be created from wooden dowels, wooden spoons, sticks, unsharpened pencils, plastic spoons or forks, hair picks, chopsticks or similar objects.

 

What Else Can You Find To Make Music With?

little-guy-and-washboardThe best part of this project is seeing how creative kids can be with everyday items. Encourage your little ones to come up with suggestions of what else might become part of an amazing and fun musical tree.

Links and Resources

Make Your Own Rhythm Tree:  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/a-music-tree-or-rhythm-clothesline-for-outdoor-musical-fun/

Natural Instruments – Sticks, Stones and Bamboo Percussion For Kids: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/all-natural-instruments-sticks-stones-and-bamboo-percussion-for-kids/

Seven Awesome Summer Music Activities:  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/7-awesome-summer-music-ideas/

Turn A Milk Jug Into A Recycled Shekere: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/turn-a-milk-jug-into-a-recycled-shekere/

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Sing An Earth Day Song In Spanish

Earth Day Song in SpanishMusic is such a wonderful way to promote learning languages and bilingualism. If you’re celebrating Earth Day, here’s a fun way of combining caring for our planet with expanding your language skills in Spanish.

The song is based on my earth Day anthem heard all over the world, and if you haven’t heard it yet, make you get your free mp3 download at the links below or cruise over to the videos and hear it yourself.

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos

(New version of lyrics in English)
 Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
 (Spanish translation) Cecelia Fencer

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
 (chorus – sung four times)

 

Debemos reciclar, ahora que podemos.

Reducir, reusar y reciclar

Reducir y reciclar ahora que podemos.

Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

 

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra,

plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.

Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

 

Tomemonos de las manos, como hermanos.

Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos.

Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos,

tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos

 

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,

ten tus anhelos y lucha por ellos.

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,

tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
 (chorus – sung four times)

Links and Resources



world in hands iconFree Lyric Sheet – We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands (English) http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands – Youtube Video – (In English) https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=eIQUOIyE7q0

Earth Day CD Plus E-Book With 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org/

Make An Irish Drum – Tutorial Free This Week!

Need a last minute St. Patrick’s Day craft?  You’ll love to make and play this easy Irish drum. And learn a bit about it’s history and culture as well.

To get your free copy, just head over to my TeachersPayTeachers store, where’s Screen shot 2017-03-15 at 1.38.20 PMit’s marked down to “0” until March 19th. And while you’re there – would you kindly follow me on TPT to get monthly notices of what’s new and other musicals freebies and goodies you might like. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Irish-Drum-Make-and-Play-Your-Own-Bodhran-and-Tipper-2410657

Don’t have time to get the tutorial?  Here’s an older post that tells you all about the bodhrán (pronounced bow-ron) drum.

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/make-your-own-bodhran-irish-drum/

Wishing you have a happy, healthy and green St. Patrick’s Day!

Sing A Silly Song For Groundhog’s Day

phil is too cuteDo you love doing tongue-twisters and silly songs with your child?  Then this is a perfect choice for celebrating Groundhog’s Day.

Sing this song and you may discover not only how much wood could a woodchuck chuck and how much ground can a groundhog grind as well as – how much sap a sapsucker can suck!  I dare you to sing it and now collapse in giggles!

But, before you do, here are some groundhog and groundhogs day FAQ’s.

When is Groundhog’s Day?     February 2nd.

Where is the official groundhog prediction?  The official celebration is in Punxatawney, Pennsylvania where our good pal; Punxatawney Phil, gets up early and gives us his prediction of when winter will end.

Where does Phil see his shadow? The special celebration of Groundhog’s day happens on a spot called Gobbler’s Knob, right in the center of the town of Punxatawney.

What does it mean if he sees his shadow?  If the groundhog sees his shadow, 6 more weeks of winter are predicted. Not seeing a shadow means an earlier Spring (hooray!)

Is Groundhog’s Day an American holiday?  Yes, but it comes from a German custom and there are many different types of ways that animals are predictors of the weather around the world. This is a great topic to research!

What are Groundhog Lodges?  In Pennsylvania Dutch tradition there gatherings where there is food, entertainment and skits or plays at this time of year.  All who attend must speak only in Pennsylvania Dutch dialect or they are fined a nickel, a dime or a quarter for speaking English!

Are there great books about groundhogs and groundhog’s day?  Yes!  Check out our list below and “Go To Sleep, Groundhog” is a funny, cute and truly adorable pick for any home or classroom library!

Daria_GroundhogCover_WebGroundhog’s Day Song – Free Lyric Sheet https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2357681

Groundhog’s Day Song and Pop-up Puppet Activity

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-and-Pop-Up-Groundhog-Puppet-Activity-484374

The Groundhog Song on Itunes

The Groundhog Song on Amazon.com

Great Books About Groundhog’s Day

Go To Sleep, Groundhog! by Judy Cox/Paul Meisel (Illustrator)
Screen shot 2017-02-01 at 4.54.38 PMA groundhog can’t seem to fall asleep when it’s time to hibernate and has a tough time getting up when his own special holiday comes.

Ten Grouchy Groundhogs By Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook
A cute counting book for young children with some good groundhog facts sprinkled in!

Groundhog Gets a Say By Pamela Curtis Swallow/Denise Brunkus (Illustrator)
A groundhog thinks his holiday should last more then one day. His animal friends help make his case for the world to know more about groundhogs.
Groundhog Day! By Gail Gibbons
Wonderful fun and great facts about groundhogs and the Groundhog’s Day celebration.

The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun By Wendie C. Old/Paige Billin-Frye (Illustrator)
A sampler of groundhog facts and a good description of the special day in Punxatawny, PA.

Groundhog Weather School By Joan Holub/Kristin Sorra (Illustrator)
A groundhog is encouraged to open a weather school everyone gets to learn more about hibernation, groundhogs and the holiday.

A happy Groundhog’s Day to all!

Win The “Kids Around The World” Mama Lisa Songbook!

mama-lisa-songbookHave you read out enthusiastic review of our new favorite kid’s international songbook?

Well, we’re excited to say that – thanks to Mama Lisa’s World -  we are giving away 2 digital copies of this amazing encyclopedia of 100 songs from diverse world cultures.  That’s 352 awesome pages of songs, song descriptions, translations, sheet music and even details of how certain songs are used as games and activities.

Of course, we’d love for you to read the whole review here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/a-trip-around-the-world-in-song/  but feel free to jump to the give-away and enter to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Trip Around The World In Song!

mama-lisa-book-coverThis is my new favorite international kids song songbook!

To be honest, I’ve been a huge fan of the website – Mama Lisa’s World – for years, so I was thrilled to be able to review this new compilation songbook. It has 100 songs from global cultures – including indigenous cultures – along with descriptions, sheet music, translations and notes on where to find MIDI and recorded version for listening. This book simply could not be more complete – or more fun!

Many of the songs that Lisa has selected are not just great songs, they are also games and offer wonderful ways to combine music, language and movement. Because translations come with each song, you can also easily start learning  simple words and phrases in other languages as well.

Where does this songbook go? It opens in Africa with welcome songs, circle dances and call-and-response tunes. Next, the songbook goes to Asia, with songs of friendship, love and play. After that, you can find favorites from Australia and the islands of Oceania. In the songs selected from Europe, you’ll meet familiar characters like the Sandman and Little Red Riding Hood. Of course, there are mama-lisa-book-pagealso songs from North America, including an Iroquois lullaby as well as English and French Canadian songs. The book closes with songs from Central and South America, including music with roots in Hispanic, Afro-Hispanic and Indigenous cultures.

What more do you need to know? This is definitely a must-have songbook for anyone who loves children’s songs and world music! You can buy both digital copies or a full size physical copy at the links below.

Links And Resources

Digital Copy From Gumroad (352 Pages/5.64 MG/3.99) https://gumroad.com/l/GvQVT#

Kid Songs Around The World: A Mama Lisa Book (Physical Copy) From Amazon http://a.co/3mx1z0o

Make-Your-Own Confetti For Kids!

big-bottle-shaker-w-confettiConfetti!  Who doesn’t love it?

Although it can be messy, it’s a fun part of so many celebrations.  And we often add it to many of our recycled rattle projects to add color and a bit of extra merriment.

So what’s better then colorful confetti? Answer: recycling holiday wrapping to create your own endless supply of fun…con…fetti!  Here are three ways to make different kinds of confetti from extra holiday wrapping supplies.  Naturally, if working with younger kids, be aware of safety issues with scissors and substitute kid shears.  If working with very young children, you may want to make confetti in advance then allow them to choose or pour confetti through a large-mouthed funnel into your holiday rattles or crafts.

So don’t throw out that holiday packaging! Here’s how to make it part of your next celebration.

Hole Punch Confetti

hole-punch-confettiThis is clearly the easiest method and makes perfect little circles.  Just cut squares of used wrapping paper (the brighter, the better) and put several together before you start punching. You’ll easily find how many paper squares you can put together to get the most amount of confetti without straining your hand and your hole punch.

Other fun hole punches? Craft stores often have hole punches with different shapes and sizes, like stars and moons.  These make for wonderful additions to this project!

Cut Across Confetti

cut-across-confettiCut squares of used tissue paper or wrapping paper and put about 4 – 6 together.  Tape one side to keep the papers together.  Then make long scissors cuts up toward the taped side, but not into the taped area. Once you’ve made these long vertical cuts, you can cut straight across (in the opposite direction) and it will yield nice little uneven squares of confetti.

Snip-A-Ribbon Confetti

Have lots of used ribbon? This method yields a bit less confetti, but still makes snip-a-ribbon-confetticolorful little squares.  Simply hold 4 – 6 pieces of ribbon in your hand and snip across the top.  You can also cut longer pieces and make mock shredded paper.  Similarly you can curl ribbon and then cut the longer curls to add into your rattles.

Then, What?

By far, the two most popular confetti crafts are rattles and confetti poppers.  We have our rattle post below plus two different creative methods for MYO poppers (aka confetti cannons) in the links below.

Here’s wishing you a happy and joyful celebration!

Make Your Own New Year’s Eve Noise-Makers! http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/make-your-own-new-years-eve-noise-makers/

Confetti Poppers From Push Pop Containers
http://www.thesitsgirls.com/diy/confetti-poppers/

Balloon Confetti Poppers From Adventures In Wunderland
http://adventuresinwunderland.com/balloon-confetti-poppers-new-years-eve-craft/

Make Your Own New Year’s Eve Noise-Makers!

big-bottle-shaker-recycled-rattleMany new parents – or tired parents – opt to stay home on New Year’s Eve and ring in the New Year with the kids! Even if you won’t stay up until midnight – you definitely need some fun noise-makers to mark the coming of a new year!

Here is a new New Year’s Eve project – big bottle shakers – as well as a list of favorite noise-making crafts from the past few years. Monkey drums and vuvuzelas, anyone?

Oh yes, and a very happy new year to all!

Big Bottle Shakers For New Year’s Eve!

sticker-shekere-pictureKids like to make lots of noise and these big rattles are perfect for safe and easy noise-makers. Start with a large recycled bottle (with a lid or cap) that’s clean and dry. Gallon milk jug containers and liter soft drink bottles work well for this craft.

Step One is to fill with whatever you have on hand. For louder rattles, add items like extra jingle bells, buttons, pebbles, dried macaroni or paper clips. For quieter rattles, add things like birdseed, sand, salt or sugar. Before you close the cap and seal the rattle, consider adding a bit of bling. Maybe some glitter that you have on-hand or some MYO confetti? (BTW, Our next post is MYO confetti – it’s messy but super simple!).

Step Two. Once you’ve filled your bottle with things that jingle and jangle, close the lid and seal with a sturdy tape, such as colorful electrical tape. This keeps the contents inside and makes the project more child safe.

screen-shot-2016-03-28-at-3-09-55-pmLastly; if you like, you can decorate the outside. You can add stickers, colorful tape or draw with permanent markers. You can also adorn the handle with streams of ribbon or yarn. This is a great way to recycle extra holiday wrapping and put it to a good use!

What else can you make? Check out these favorite posts from New Year’s Eves past.

New Year’s Eve Noise-Makers With Wrapping Paper Rolls http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/noisemakers-new-years-eve-craft/

bolang-gu-craft-versionBolang Gu – A Chinese Monkey Drum Craft https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Make Your Own Vuvuzela Stadium Horn https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716

kyra-plays-a-vuvuEverything But The Kitchen Sink Rattles  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/new-years-eve-noisemakers-recycled-rattles/

Little Dreidel Resources For You!

dreidel-screensnap-2

“I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
A dreidel I will play.”

This wonderful little song is known all over the world.  It tells the story of the little spinning top, called a dreidel (or dreydl) played at Hanukkah.  Although it’s a toy and a game, the letters found on each face of the dreidel tell the beautiful and meaningful story of why Hanukkah is called the Holiday of Lights.

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, playing the dreidel game, singing the song and learning about it’s background is an exciting part of sharing winter holidays with your family and community.

So, here are some of our most popular dreidel resources.

dreidel-screensnapFree Dreidel Coloring Page
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreidel-Coloring-Page-985694
Free Dreidel Song Lyric Sheet
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreydl-Dreidel-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2214444
DARIA’s Little Dreidel song on Itunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/celebrate-season-multicultural/id344193347
DARIA’s Little Dreidel song on Amazon mp3
http://a.co/9WdVmwf
How To Play The Dreidel Game (on TPT)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreydl-Dreidel-Song-and-Game-Activity-921898

May all your winter holidays be bright!

There’s a New RAFFI Cd – and you can win a copy here!

Who doesn’t love Raffi?  He’s like the magic grandfather of children’s music.

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Raffi (Raffi Cavoukian) was making music for children long before there was a genre for that.  And he did it with kindness, authenticity and a demonstrable love for the kids of the world.

Now, continuing his long string of music albums beloved by folks of all ages, there’s a new Raffi CD called Owl Singalong.  And you can win a copy in our give-away right here!

raffi-owl-cd

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s On Owl Singalong?

This album is a wonderful blend of Raffi’s versions of classic kids songs such as “Somos El Barco” (We Are the Boat), The Garden Song (Inch By Inch, Row By Row) and The More We Sing Together (The Happier We’ll Be).  Plus, there are his originals like Owl Singalong and Woo Hoo Could I Be?  You guessed it, owl-themed musical fun.  And every track gives you the sense that this multi-talented musician lives to share what he loves with children.

If you can’t wait to see if you’ve won the CD, the Amazon and Itunes purchase links are below.  And please stay tuned.  In an upcoming post we want to tell you more about Raffi’s advocacy for kids and his Covenent for Honouring Children.  He has some wise and powerful things to say about kids, commercialism and changing the world to a more meaningful place for children – and all human beings too!

Amazon – https://amzn.com/B0162FQ0O6

iTunes  – http://smarturl.it/OwlSingalong