Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Fun Noise-Makers For New Year’s Eve!

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 1.00.10 PMHow will you be merry-making with your kids this New Year’s Eve?  Here are five fun ways to make a merry musical start in 2015!

Make a Vuvuzela!

There’s a reason this horn (pictured below) is called the most annoying instrument in the world. It’s loud and silly sounding. And it’s also an easy craft to enjoy making as you attempt to stay awake all the way to midnight on New Years vuvu brazilEve. Find a free craft pdf with step-by-step instructions here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716

An Elegant “French Horn”

The blog; Savvy Homemade, has this easy craft where you can create a much nicer sounding horn to welcome in the New Year. The supplies are simple, just make sure you have a funnel, some electrical tape, a bit of plastic piping and a few other basic items on hand to master this craft.

http://www.savvyhomemade.com/homemade-french-horn-for-kids/

Homemade Fireworks!

Sounds scary? Not when you bring out some large bubble wrap that you’ve saved up for just such an occasion. This can be a big hit with younger kids who can’t stay up until the New Year but want to feel the excitement of bringing in a New Year with lots of noise! To get the “full fireworks effect” have the kids hold the bubble wrap while you play a video of fireworks and they can create the sounds effects live! Need a fireworks video suggestion? Here’s the BBC’s version of magnificent London Fireworks from New Year’s Day 2011.

Make A Monkey Drum

Our friends from the Activity Corner in Australia have this easy craft to create a monkey drum from a paper plate. You can check out the easy instructions here:

http://www.kidspot.com.au/kids-activities-and-games/Trash-to-treasure-craft-ideas+38/Make-a-monkey-drum+12587.htm

Make and Takes Crazy Kazoo Noise-Makers

We love this clever version of a homemade kazoo from the wonderful blog: “Make and Takes”.  The craft uses paper towel or toilet paper rolls plus wax paper, a hole punch and a few rubber bands to make a wonderful, workable kids kazoo. Complete instructions here:

http://www.makeandtakes.com/new-years-eve-noise-makers

kyra pl;ays a vuvu
And whether it’s noisy or not…

We’re wishing everyone out there a Happy New Year!

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Sing A Song About Your Child – For Christmas or Hanukkah

12 daysWhat child does not love hearing their name in a song?

A fun way to get ready for Christmas or Hanukkah with your small child is to create a simple song about the holidays using your family’s activities or your child’s name as part of the lyrics. Even if you feel you’re not a particularly creative parent or a seasoned songwriter, you’ll definitely get some holiday cheer out of writing a homemade version of either of these two tunes!

Create Your Own 12 Days of Christmas Carol!

Did you know that the 12 Days of Christmas song was originally a memory game? When it was sung, each person added a verse and had to recall the previous items on the list. Although you probably heard it with the same list of items as seen below, you can get inventive and make up a version with things that are special to your family or your classroom. Here’s the most popular version of the items for the 12 days:

1 A Partridge in a Pear Tree

2 Turtle Doves

3 French Hens

4 Calling (or Colly) Birds

5 Golden Rings

6 Geese A-Laying

7 Swans A Swimming

8 Maids A-Milking

9 Ladies Dancing

10 Lords A-Leaping

11 Pipers Piping

12 Drummers Drumming

What can you substitute?  Check out the post below to see how one classroom in the Caribbean came up with a very funny version for the holidays from their island home:

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/write-your-own-12-days-of-christmas-carol/
dreydl use this oneWho’s Dreydl is It Anyway?

If you’re learning about Hanukkah or getting ready to celebrate this special holiday, you can adapt the popular dreydl song to include your child’s name. Simple and yet truly delightful, substitute your child’s name for “I”.  In other words, instead of singing “I have a little dreydl”, try “David has a little dreydl” or:

Sarah has a little dreydl
She made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
Her dreydl she will play

Oh dreydl, dreydl, dreydl
She made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
Her dreydl she will play

You can find the complete set of lyrics plus an explanation of what the Hebrew letters mean on the free dreydl coloring page below.

So whether you’re spinning a top or lighting a tree, you can easily give a special child in your life the gift of a perfectly personalized song!

Resources

Write Your Own 12 Days Song:
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/write-your-own-12-days-of-christmas-carol/

Free Dreydl Coloring Page and Song Lyrics
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreidel-Coloring-Page-985694

Dreydl Song and Activity From TeachersPayTeachers (.99)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreydel-Dreidel-Song-and-Game-Activity-921898

Sheet Music For The Dreydl Song From TeachersPayTeachers (1.99)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Oh-Dreydl-Dreidel-Sheet-Music-966158

Three Musical Rattles For Exploring Native American Culture

little gal and buffalo drum

November is Native American Heritage Month!

What a fun time to make and play several different types of rattles that are found in Native cultures. Each rattle here is easy to make and can be used to explore Native American music and dance or for any musical activity with young children!

TURTLE ISLAND RATTLE

Did you know that the North American continent is often called “Turtle Island” based on a story that comes from an Haudenosaunee/Iroquois legend? Turtles also figure prominently in the lore and legends of many Native American tribes give-away turtle rattleacross the USA and Canada. Although the actual rattle is made from a turtle shell, this craft uses supplies that can be found around any house or classroom.

What do you need for a recycled turtle rattle? One take-out container of any size, a small amount of materials to fill the rattle (birdseed, pebbles, paper clips, etc.) a bit of glue and a piece of felt, poster board or foam to make the turtle’s body. Plus you’ll want to have some materials to help decorate the rattle, such as paint, glitter and glue or permanent markers and possibly some googley eyes for the turtle.

homemade and real turtle rattle  lo resHere’s a real and homemade turtle rattle side-by-side. Find the easy and free step-by-steps directions on DARIA’s TPT Store, here:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Native-American-Turtle-Shell-Rattle-Craft-Using-Recycled-Materials-600715

CHAPCHAS OR JINGLEY BRACELETS

chapchas (3) on red backgroundSo many Native rattles are made from materials found in the natural world. Chapchas – from the Andes – are made of a rather unusual natural material, the clipped toenails of sheep or goats. The nails are boiled and sterilized then a hot needle punctures a hole in the nail so they can be threaded onto a strip of fabric about the size of a bracelet.

Don’t worry – our recycled version of this instrument does not require chasing any sheep, goats or llamas for their toenail clippings! Instead, we start with a piece of yarn and weave in things that jingle as well as click and clack. We suggest a variety of household items such as buttons, beads, paper clips, jingle Chapchas - Jingley Thing craftbells or dried pasta, to name a few.

Find Step-By-Step Directions as well as a free coloring page, here:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-The-Chapchas-An-Instrument-from-The-Andes-650050

www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chapchas-A-Unique-Rattle-From-Latin-America-1426778

CHEROKEE NOISE-MAKERS

LeannaOne of our favorite bloggers – Leanna (from All Done Monkey!) just posted this craft that her family made from the book they were reading (The Cherokee by Rennay Craats). In the book, these noise-makers helped a child know what they might hear at a special ceremony of the Cherokee. You can find the activity and the full post here:

http://alldonemonkey.com/2014/11/03/cherokee-rattle-craft/

We’re Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – With Music and More!

HHM-coverWe’re excited to be part of the MKB network’s awesome blog hop that shares all aspects of Hispanic culture. Our contribution is a free and fun E-book that shares 10 Musical Crafts you can make to explore these exciting and meaningful cultural traditions.

Find that free E-book here: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

And please, read on.  There are contests, give-aways and lots of other great activities and information from some really awesome bloggers that I hope you get a chance to meet through this wonderful blog Hop.  And don’t forget to scroll through the prizes to find and enter the Rafflecopter below!

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

heritagemonthWelcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 17 of our member blogs! Don’t miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky!

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America” (from HispanicHeritageMonth.gov)

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:

MKB HHM Twitter PartyDon’t miss our Twitter party “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids,” Tuesday, September 23, from 9 – 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!

MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Multicultural Kid Blogs

All Done Monkey

Spanish Playground

Kid World Citizen

Mommy Maestra

Kids Yoga Stories

Inspired by Familia

Entre Compras y El Hogar

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Spanglish House

Crafty Moms Share

Toddling in the Fast Lane

Mama Tortuga

Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Our Whole Village

A Life With Subtitles

Spanish Mama

Pragmatic Mom

Daria’s Music

My Favorite Multicultural Books

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!

Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopSmart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.

Traditional Mexican toys and games.

A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.

A basket from Lanugo with the book “Lula la Consentida,” a limited-edition “Latino de Corazón” infant onsie, and Seventh Generation’s baby product essentials. US shipping only.

Spanish games for kids.

A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.

DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.

DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.

Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.

Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.

A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together – Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World CitizenA child’s sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.

Spanish games for kids. A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.

Spanish songs for kids.

Chocolalala – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.

Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.Hola Hello – A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.

Spanish poems for kids.

Mis primeros poemas – A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.

Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.

Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.

Lingua ToysSpanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.

Bolivian GuiroHand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.

Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.

Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.

¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto – Two children’s books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.

Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.

A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.

Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.

ABC Fiesta – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.

High frequency words books in Spanish.

Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.

Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!

Las piñatas de LalyBeautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Link Up Your Posts Now it’s your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!


 

Bongos For Babies – And Big Kids, Too!

One of the easiest drums for anyone to play are bongo drums.  With roots in Afro-Cuban culture, this smaller set of hand drums is just the right size and shape to invite a child to sit down and tap and play away.

A Bit About The Bongos

Bongo drums are a great instrument for exploring rhythms and beats as well as Latin American culture with children. Originating in Cuba, there’s one larger drum, about 7 inches in diameter and one smaller drum, about 5 inches across.   In Cuba, the bongo player is called a bongocero.

bongos in the grassMake Your Own Bongo Drums

It’s easy to make a set of simple working bongo drum at home. All you need are a few basic materials starting with two round containers of different sizes. Coffee cans, oatmeal and corn meal containers work well for this project. Then you’ll need creative materials to decorate the two drums. Look for construction paper, stickers, colorful tape, markers or glitter and glue. Last, you’ll need sturdy tape – like electrical tape or duct tape – to attach the drums together.

Decorate The Drums

bongo suplpliesStart by decorating the two drums. If you’re working with construction paper, cut out a cover for each drum and allow your child to design their drum on a flat surface. Then, tape the cover into place around each drum. If not, feel free to allow the child to decorate the rounded surface of the drum. Stickers and colorful tape, work well for this type of approach.

Once you’ve completed the decoration process, use the electrical tape or duct tape and secure the drums together. Wrap the tape around both drums several times.

Now, you’re ready to play!

How Are Bongo Drums Held?

playing bongosTraditionally bongo drums are held between your legs, with the smaller drum to your left. However, if you’re playing with a child, feel free to place the bongos where it’s easiest for them to reach. This might be front of them on the floor or on their lap as they sit cross-legged.

Tapping Out A Beat

As always, I encourage the parent, caregiver or teacher to make a set of drums themselves and learn alongside their child. Here are some tips on basic techniques for beginner bongoceros, young and older!

Start by tapping the larger drum with your hands, using the upper part your palms (toward the base of your fingers). Tap the center, then other areas on the drum head and notice the difference in the sound. Do the same with the smaller head. Play back and forth between the larger and smaller head.

Next, try tapping the large head with one or more fingertips and you’ll hear a quieter sound. Try the same on the smaller head. Now you can mix and match the sounds you’ve just discovered and form them into patterns. Start simple and find patterns you enjoy or put on Latin American music and try to match the patterns from the song. You can also create new rhythm patterns that fit with the music you hear as well.

Once you’ve made your homemade bongos, feel free to use your new drums to “just jam” or to learn and play some of the great beats from Afro-Cuban and Latin American folk traditions. Here’s a basic bongo drum pattern called “el martillo” that almost anyone can learn with just a bit of practice.


Resources And Links

Bongo Craft PDF from TeachersPayteachers

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-And-Play-Your-Own-Bongo-Drums-1430615

10 Music Crafts For Exploring Hispanic Heritage

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Celebrate-Hispanic-Heritage-Musical-Craft-And-Coloring-E-Book-1427919

Hear, Color Or Play a Guiro

http://www.dariamusic.com/guiro.php

Free Musical Crafts and Coloring Pages From All Over the World – From DARIA MUSIC

http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

Musical Water Play – A MYO Gourd-Style Water Drum

ghana water drumHow often can you imagine someone saying: “Now it’s time to pour water into our drum”.   Although it might seem unusual, at least two cultures from around the globe have discovered that you can make an amazing  drum by overturning a gourd and playing it while it rests gently upon the surface of the water.   In fact, the sound is so deep and resonant that there are claims it can be heard for miles!

Playing water gourd drumDon’t have dried gourds from Ghana or a time machine to travel back to Mayan days and play a bubulek water drum?  No worries. In fact, here’s a simple version of this instrument that also works wonderfully as outdoor water play for kids.  It’s a good way to combine messy or wet play with creativity and music!

Gather A Few Supplies

First you’ll need a shallow container to hold the water. We’ve used a plastic “under-the-bed” storage container box, but a kiddie pool or similar container will also work perfectly.  It helps to have a jug for water so you can vary the amount of water used beneath your “drum”.  Then you need the floating “gourds”.  Circular materials plastic water drumitems (like sturdy round mixing bowls) work best but explore whatever you have that will stay afloat when placed up-side-down in the water. You might be surprised at what sounds each different item will create when tapped or touched.

Lastly, you might want to have a few beaters such as unsharpened pencils, chopsticks or wooden spoons. Then it’s just a matter of pouring and playing away.

Play Gently

With this drum, like many others, less is more.  If you like, start by tapping your “gourd” with the tips of your fingers and see what sounds are created.  Try quietly rapping the plastic water drum playingtop and the sides.  Add a pencil or a beater and see if the sound changes.  Add a different container and play two or three together for different sounds or sound combinations.

Getting Serious?

If you take a look at the video below you can see the musician is doing a few different things. He’s knocking on the top of the gourd (like you might knock at a door), tapping and rapping and creating some really neat patterns. He’s playing an actual “jicara de agua” water drum from Mexico, but the same techniques work perfectly on any homemade drum.

You can use this video for inspiration or create your very own unique way to play.

What will your water play sound like today?

Community Musical Fun – A Make-Your-Own Recycled Rattle Table!

NORWESCAP the table

When music is playing, everyone wants to be part of the fun -  especially young children.  A few years ago I designed an easy activity for the Nick Jr. Worldwide Day of Play that was a cross between a salad bar and a make-you-own-sundae toppings bar, only we were making musical instruments that the kids could keep and play.  Since that time, I’ve had a lot of fun doing this craft activity at Earth Day celebrations, school presentations and in community parks.

Here’s how it’s done, but feel free to be creative and add your own ideas and twists to this fun way of recycling, upcycling and rocking out with the kids!

Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 11.21.52 AMSet Up A Table

It helps to make a location, such as table, where kids can form a line and follow a few steps to make their own rattle.  At the beginning of the line, have a variety of clean, recycled containers such as empty water bottles or plastic juice containers.  Next have several dishes of small items that the kids can choose to use to fill their container.  Birdseed, dried beans, rice or pasta make great choices.

Two Hints: A longer list of possible contents is below.  Also, its a good idea to stay away from nut or peanut products because of allergy issues.

Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 11.21.17 AMAnother approach to filling the rattles is having one large container used to collect a variety of these materials.  Kids can reach in and grab a handful of items and place them in the funnel that will fill their rattle.

Decorate The Inside

Who doesn’t love glitter? Or confetti?  Have a few choices that the kids can use to add some crafty “bling” to their rattles.  For this part of the craft, funnels really help in getting the glitter or confetti inside the rattles.

Seal the Rattle

Once the child is done with the rattle “insides”, seal up each rattle with electrical tape.  Even if you are working with older children, these rattles will sometime get into the hands of smaller children and having them sealed with sturdy tape keeps the project much more child-safe!

NORWESCAP boy w:coffee can + bottle rattleDecorate the Outside

Once the rattle is sealed, you can add stickers, tape or use yarn or pipecleaners to make colorful streamers or handles for the rattles.  Look at some of these artistic rattles!

Stone Soup Rattles?

Have you ever heard the Stone Soup story?  It’s a tale where everyone brings one item that makes for a tasty dish for all to share.  If you want to do this craft as a group or gathering activity, you can ask each person to take one item from the list and bring it to the event.  That way everyone participates in the making and playing of the new instruments!

Here’s a list of supplies for this activity.

Supplies

A supply of clean, dry recycled plastic bottles and containers.

Funnels – (wider-mouthed ones work best!)

Rattle “contents” such as dried beans, rice, birdseed, dried popcorn, lentils, pebbles or different shapes and sizes of dried pasta.

Electrical Tape

Glitter

Confetti

Stickers

Yarn, ribbon or pipecleaners.

Anything else?

 

wwdop - playing recycled rattlesShake It Up!

When you’ve made your musical instruments – go ahead and make some music!  Invite someone who plays a guitar or musical instrument and they will have a perfect percussion section!  Or bring along some recorded music and let the kids and adults play along.

wwdop - too cool!Making music together brings the whole community together.

Isn’t that a great way to spend the day!

 

Sing A Song For Earth Day!

whole world hands

Over a decade ago I wrote a song for Earth Day that has made it literally around the world.  Since it was recorded, it’s been used in programs and presentations in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Japan, Scotland, South America and across the entire United States, too!  It’s just a fact that honoring the Earth is a concept shared by everyone, everywhere, all around the globe!

“We’ve Got the Whole World In Our Hands” had very humble beginnings.  I was working with a group of elementary school students on an Earth Day project and they were excited about the many ways they could make a difference for the Earth.   To share what they learned, we decided to write a song to a melody that everyone recognized.  We chose the beautiful spiritual song  “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and changed the lyrics slightly to reflect the idea of being a good steward of the Earth.

earth day handsNext, we added the children’s ideas to the song.  Naturally, the first suggestion had to do with the three “R”s – reduce, reuse and recycle.  Then the kids got really creative.  They offered dozens of suggestions that encompassed not only being green and living simpler, but also being kind to everyone and everything around them.  It was truly inspiring to see their vision of a planet filled with peace, harmony and more thoughtful life choices!

The original song has over 10 verses filled with great ideas about caring for the Earth.  When we recorded the song, we had to limit it to 4, so the song would not be too long.  Here’s the words to our final version:

Chorus:      We’ve got the whole world, in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world, in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world in our hands

We should recycle now – all that we can
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – all that we can
We should recycle now – all that we can
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Here’s the video!

Lyrics and songsheet here:

http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

An Earth Day Song Challenge!

Stay tuned.  Next week we’ll be asking you to write your own version of this song.  Cool prizes and more details to follow!

 

Make Your Own Bodhrán Irish Drum

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 10.50.39 AMEvery culture has it’s own favorite types of drums.

In the Celtic tradition of Ireland, the bodhrán (pronounced “bow-ron”) is a drum that seems to have evolved from the tambourine.  Originally made from farm implements such as a sieve to separate grain, it’s generally 10 – 26” inches across and is played with a small wooden stick called a “tipper” (or cipín, in the Celtic language).

Whether you attempt to create a realistic bodhrán and tipper or just want to create an Irish-style drum, this easy craft makes a great introduction to Irish folk music.

bodhran drum suppliesGather Your Supplies

To create your homemade bodhrán, find a used pie tin or recycled take-out containers.  Circular metal containers  press-on tops work perfectly for this craft.  In addition, you’ll need materials for decorating the drum and a pencil or two plastic homemade bodhran (tin)spoons to serve as your tipper plus a bit of tape.

It you’re using a pie tin, you can decorate the sides or the top and you’re ready to play.  If you’re using take-out containers, decorate the blank side of the top circle with any kind of theme you like.  Since we’re writing this close to St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve chosen to decorate with shamrocks.

Make A Plastic Spoon Tipper

tippers yellowTo make a “tipper” for your drum, tape together two recycled plastic spoons.  If you don’t have any spoons handy, you can use an unsharpened pencil or a similar item like a chopstick or small thin piece of wood.

Time To Play!

Everyone loves to play on a drum.  If you have a simple stick as the beater, tap out a rhythm along with any of your favorite songs or discover some new Irish music to accompany.

If you’ve made a tipper, hold it in your hand between your thumb and first finger.

Tap on the drum with one side of it.  Then tap in the other side.  Practice tapping right, left, right, left until you get the hang of it.

Once you’ve mastered the back and forth tapping of the tipper, try picking up speed. You’ll be amazed at what some musicians can do with this drum after they’ve practiced a bit.

Below is a short video showing basic bodhran technique for kids as well as a Youtube video of a master musician who can really rock out on this awesome Irish instrument.

Homemade Bodhrán Musical Fun

Homemade Bodhran Fun- Click Here To Learn The Basic Techniques

Traditional Celtic Bodhrán – One Amazing Instrumentalist!

Links and Resources

Make Your Own Bodhran -  tutorial from TPT https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Irish-Drum-Make-and-Play-Your-Own-Bodhran-and-Tipper-2410657

 

All Natural Instruments – Sticks, Stones and Bamboo Percussion For Kids

natural instruments

How were the first musical instruments created?

It’s most likely they were made from “all natural” materials and were probably the result of wonderful coincidences.  Perhaps someone was gathering wood and realized that two sticks tapped together could create a beat.  A rock fell on another rock and made a pleasing sound.  Bamboo made a wonderful noise when rustling in the wind and inspired Hawaiian rhythm sticks. And since these noise-makers are made of such basic materials, they make great “first instruments” for exploring music with children at home, in the classroom or in the homeschool environment.

Here are three of our favorite “all natural” percussion instruments.

Austalian Clapsticks – “Bilma”

stick bilma1In Aboriginal Australia, two sticks struck together form a beat that can accompany the didgeridoo and become a part of singing, dancing and celebrating.  Whether you tap together two unsharpened pencils or take a nature walk to retrieve two perfect sticks, bilma making dots with q-tipsthese simple clapsticks can keep a beat while you sing or play along to any your favorite songs.

If you want to decorate your clapsticks with an Australian theme, you can use a dot motif.  In the activity below you can find step-by-step directions for making several different versions of crafty “dot” bilma.

hula rocks on blueRiver Rocks – Hawaiian `ili`ile

Can rocks make music?   Take a nature walk, collect a few and see for yourself.

In Hawaii, special smooth river rocks are part of the hula tradition. These small stones; called ‘ili’ili, are held in a dancer’s hand and tapped together for a percussion sound and that becomes part of the arm movements of the dance.  If you want to play “Hawaiian-style”, check out the post below for more about this tradition.

But you can also get creative and make up your own way of “playing rocks”.  Try josef rocks outsetting a few rocks out on the ground or table and hold one in your hand.  Use the rock in your hand to tap out a beat on one – or several- of the other rocks while you sing along, play recorded music or create your own rhythms with a friend, sibling, parent or fellow musician.

Bamboo Rhythm Sticks

Hawaiian pu’ili are rhythm sticks with one distinct difference.  They are made of lengths of bamboo, left whole on one side and split on the other.  When tapped together, the split ends rattle against each other making a unique sound.

Although making traditional bamboo pu’ili is not too hard, it does require some special tools and involves sharp edges.  An easier version; especially for young children, can be made from cardboard rolls from paper towels. They are easily cut and decorated and sound great for percussion play.

You can get complete instructions for homemade pu’ili at the post listed below.

Explore Nature and Music

Sticks, stones and reeds can make music.  Why not combine an exploration of music and nature to see what kind of inventive creations you can discover and play!

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 5.26.10 PMLinks and Resources

Australian Bilma (From Teachers Pay Teachers)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Bilma-Clapsticks-1133140

Playing River Rocks As An Instrument – Hawaiian `ili`ile
(Post in Making Multicultural Music)
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/playing-river-rocks-as-an-instrument-hawaiian-iliile/

Play Some Pu’ili  (Post in Tiny Tapping Toes)
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-your-own-puili-hawaiian-rhythm-sticks/

Musical Craft pdf’s from DARIAMUSIC
http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

E-books, CD’s and more Musical Fun from DARIA’s TeachersPayTeachers Store
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Daria-Marmaluk-Hajioannou