Tag Archives: Daria

28 Kids Crafts To Reuse Plastic Straws

drying strawsAre you trying to use less plastic?

I meet more and more parents who are striving to use less packaging and plastic products.  And it’s really encouraging to even see big companies – like Starbucks and the entire Marriott hotel chain – phasing out plastic straws altogether!  But even if you are the most recycling-conscious family, you’ve probably ended up with some of those pesky plastic straws and wondered what to do with them.

Instead of tossing them into the waste stream, here are a host of great activities that reuse these not-so-disposable items and are fun and productive kid’s crafts as well.

Clean Your Straws

If you’ve ended up with straws from juice, smoothies or soft drinks you can easily clean them off before you craft with them.  Rinse them in soapy water and let them stand them in a jar or glass for a few minutes (as seen above).  In no time at all, they’ll be clean and ready to be used in any of the crafts below!

Straw Rattles Completed On YellowA Quiet Rattle

We love this craft!  It is fun to make, also reuses plastic bottles and creates a quiet rattle that is never too loud, even when playing with bunches of friends!  And if the straws you’ve used are colorful, they make wonderful patterns of colors as you shake them along to music.

What To Do

Cut the straws into small lengths, anything the size of a small bead to about an inch long.  Cut them all the same length or mix up the sizes.  And if you have straw pieces left, they are perfect for the sensory bins listed below or even the friendship bracelets!

To create the rattle, simply allow your child to drop any number of their favorite colors and sizes into the plastic bottle.  When it looks and sounds perfect to your little one, put on the cap and seal with a sturdy electrical tape.  This keeps the contents inside the rattle and makes the end-product child-safe.

Note: while creating any of these crafts, make sure the small pieces of straws don’t go in a child’s mouth.

More Musical Straw Crafts!

josef playing straw zamponasPanpipes Made From Straws
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-your-own-simple-panpipes/

Use straws as the contents to a “Roly Poly” Thing
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-a-roly-poly-musical-thing/

Use straws as the contents to an ocean drum
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-an-ocean-drum-for-world-oceans-day/

maracas - back to schoolUse straws as the contents to a set of maracas
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/an-easy-musical-craft-for-young-children-back-to-school-maracas/

Other Straw Crafts You’ll Love!

Sensory Bin With Straw Pieces – From Teaching Mama
https://teachingmama.org/plastic-straw-sensory-bin/

20 Assorted Drinking Straw Crafts For Kids- From Meraki Lane https://www.merakilane.com/20-drinking-straw-crafts-for-kids/

Simple Friendship Bracelets Made with Pipe cleaners and “Straw Beads” – From Kiwi Co – https://www.kiwico.com/diy/Arts-and-Crafts-Ideas/1/project/Straw-Bracelets/1169

More Crafty And Elegant Straw Bead Bracelets – Tutorial below and here’s hoping you reduce, reuse recycle and rock out with any of the crafts you’ve found here!

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Sing, Don’t Cry!

Sing Don't Cry - cover imageWelcome to our new section – posts featuring books about music.  And there are some amazing books out there that inspire children with tales of world cultures, especially through the eyes – and ears – of musical traditions!

Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez who was born in Mexico City, this lovely book shares a very personal vision into the world of the mariachi and Mexican music traditions.  Angela’s grandfather – or abuelo – was a real life mariachi and music helped him weather the ups and downs of life.

Filling this beautiful book about Angela’s Abuelo Apolinar are stories from his actual life – a childhood accident, moving to a new city alone and other struggles. Through it all, singing and music help him stay happy and connected with the things in life that mattered most to him.

Where does the title – Sing, Don’t Cry – come from?  It’s a translation of part of Sing dont cry - book imagethe chorus of the song, Cielito Lindo.  A staple of mariachi music, Cielito Lindo was written way back in 1882 by Mexican author Quirino Mendoza y Cortés and has a beloved place in the world of Mexican music.  The chorus of the song roughly translates to… Sing, Don’t Cry, Because singing gladdens the heart.

Here’s the chorus translated and a video so you can enjoy the song, if you aren’t already familiar with it!

Ay, ay ay ay… canta no llores
Por que cantando se allegran, cielito lindo, los corazones

Ai, ai, ai ai – sing don’t cry
Because singing gladdens the heart (heavenly one, dear)

(One translation note here – the phrase cielito lindo literally means pretty little sky but is a term for a dear one or a sweetheart)

I really enjoyed this book because it speaks of the powerful connection between generations.  The grandfather in the story gets to share his big life lessons with his grandchildren as well as his music.  And clearly, his granddaughter is sharing her talent with the world as well!  You can find Sing, Don’t Cry at your local library or purchase it on Amazon, here: http://a.co/7Z65b0E .

Links And Related Resources

Author Angela Dominguez’s website: https://www.angeladominguezbooks.com/

Free Mariachi Guitar Coloring Page: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mariachi-Guitar-Coloring-Page-2511636

Three Cinco De Mayo music crafts: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-De-Mayo-Music-Crafts-2507025

Learn the song “Un Poco Loco” from the movie “Coco” http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/are-you-un-poco-loco-about-disneys-coco/

All About The Mexican Hot Chocolate Song: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/bate-bate-its-time-for-mexican-hot-chocolate/

Make A Drum That Sounds Like The Ocean!

traditional ocean drumHave you ever heard an ocean drum?  It’s an amazing instrument that sounds almost exactly like the soothing sounds of the surf?  And – guess what?  It’s  a quiet instrument!  It’s great for music and meditation as well as a quiet time activity.  And it’s also perfect project to make and play for for any child or adult on the autistic spectrum.

And, you can make it from all recycled materials!

What Is An Ocean Drum?

It looks like a frame drum from the Middle East, but it is filled with small round objects that, when tilted back and forth, sound remarkably like the waves at the seashore.  It’s sound is soothing and when ocean drums are filled with colorful or interesting objects, they are as beautiful to watch as they are to hear.

apple pie ocean drum suppliesHere are the supplies you need to make one ocean drum:

  • A sturdy box: Flat shipping boxes, or any sturdy small box
  • Clear plastic: You can recycle old report covers, salad bar containers, clear tablecloth covers or purchase a small amount of clear vinyl at a fabric or hardware store. Hint: Don’t use plastic wrap as it simply won’t hold up to the task.
  • Strong tape: Packing tape, masking tape, or electrical tape are good choices.
  • Contents for the drum: Choose any small fillings such as seed beads, pastina pasta, acini de pepe pasta, orzo, pony beads, mung beans, lentils, dried beans, marbles, or small pebbles.

How To Make It

Start with a sturdy box.  It’s a good idea to decorate your box before experimenting with what you want to put inside.  If you started with a plain box from a stationery supply store, you have a clean slate to create an ocean motif or ocean drums makingdecorate with paint, crayons, markers or glitter and glue. If you have an overly busy box, like a pizza box, you may wish to cover it with colored paper (leaving space for the window, of course) and decorate from there.

Next, create the window so you can watch the smaller items move around inside the drum. To do this, get some sturdy clear plastic and cut it into a large square or rectangle.  Draw a slightly smaller square or rectangle on the inside of the top of your ocean drum box and cut it out. Secure the window in place inside the box using a strong tape such as packing tape, electrical tape, or masking tape.

Now choose something to create the sound of the surf. Small, round objects make a sound that is closest to a real ocean drum.  However, you can get creative with what you’d like to try. You can choose tiny pasta like acini de pepe, pastina pasta, seed beads, bee bees, or mung beans. You can fill your drum with lentils, dried peas, marbles, pony beads, larger beans, or orzo pasta for a louder drum. You can mix and match to see what sounds best to your ear.

You may also want to make it interesting by adding colorful beads or other items like marbles, buttons, glitter or confetti that will add to the visual appeal of the drum.

Once you’ve chosen what you want to go inside, you are ready to seal the drum. Cover it with packing tape so that the contents will stay inside.  Seal up all the edges where the smaller objects might come out and then you’re ready to play your ocean drum.

ocean drum sall of usPlaying The Ocean Drum

This is a fun instrument to explore.  Here are a few techniques you can use when playing it:

Tilt it back and forth at gentle angles

Tilt it back and forth at more extreme angles

Tilt the drum for a gentle swooshing sound then turn it on its side to stop the sound

Tap the sides or top with your fingertips  

Shake your instrument as if it were a rattle. 

Many people find the sound and the changing patterns very calming and meditative. You can relax and play it without any other accompaniment or you can play this instrument along with soothing music or any of your favorite songs.  Try to match the beat by tilting the ocean drum along with the rhythms of the song.

If you enjoy this type of drum, you may want to make several as each one will have a distinct sound or might fit better with different musical styles that you enjoy.

Feel free to experiment and make this unusual instrument all your own!

Seashell Trumpets Around The World

Nagak Seashell trumpet from KoreaDid you know a seashell can be a musical instrument?

Years ago, I saw a picture of a conch shell used as a trumpet in an ancient Aztec drawing. As I’ve visited other counties, I’ve discovered that large shells have been used in many different ways in ancient and modern times, all over the world.

Here are just a few of the world music traditions that use sea shells as natural trumpets and horns.

MEXICO

In Aztec culture, the shell trumpet was very symbolic and often associated with the breath of life as well as the rhythms of the sea. Similarly, it was associated aztec conch trumpetwith the call to prayer, marking time during the day and night, rhythms of the moon, fertility and with Ehécatl – the Aztec God of the Wind.

Here is the first picture that piqued my curiosity. It is a musician called a “quiquizoani” playing the conch trumpet. Researchers found 7 different types of conch shell trumpets played in the ancient Aztec culture of Mexico. They also discovered that conch shell trumpets were used by the Aztec military in a manner similar to modern day bugles.

One of the best sites for information on Aztec instruments, including great pictures from important archeological sites is Mexicolore.com. You can find Mexico Lore’s conch shell page here: 
http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/music/conch-trumpet

KOREA

A nagak is a large elegant seashell used as a trumpet, mainly in military parades. You can see it above in a photo of a procession at the royal place in Seoul, Korea. Also called the na, sora or godong, it is made from the shell of a sea snail that is sometimes called Triton’s Trumpet.

JAPAN

horagaiIn Japan, large conch shells called Horagai (法螺貝) (or jinkai (陣貝) have been used as trumpets for many centuries. Special schools still teach students to play the traditional music associated with the conch.

In ancient times, conch trumpets were used by certain sects of Buddhist monks to signal their movements across mountains or to accompany religious chanting. Unlike shell trumpets from other parts of the world, Japanese shell trumpets are fitted with mouthpieces of bamboo or bronze that allow them to create several different notes rather than just one single trumpet blast. Samurai used the war shell; known as the jinkai, as a communication device during battles. Playing different combination of notes would signal warriors to attack, withdraw, or change strategies during battle. Here is an example of the Japanese shell trumpet where you can hear the different notes being played:

PUEBLO CULTURE (USA)

Although the location is many days travel from the ocean, conch shell trumpets were found in the burial chambers of recently discovered (Native American) Pueblo ruins in New Mexico. You can read about what else was discovered there, here: https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/conch-trumpets-flutes-and-turquoise-beads-treasured-items-of-an-ancient-culture/

FLORIDA (USA)

Not to be left out, there is a conch shell trumpet contest every year in the Florida Keys. Adults and kids participate and try to make beautiful music – or at least long sustained blasts – from their own gorgeous shells.

You can check out some of the champion “conch honkers” from the 50th anniversary contest in Key West, here:

Báte Báte – It’s Time For Mexican Hot Chocolate!

Although it’s officially Spring, we’ve have had three major snowstorms this month! When it’s cold and snowy, why not discover the wonderful taste of Mexican Hot Chocolate!  It’s the subject of a song you probably already know called “Báte, Báte Chocoláte”.

A lot of people recognize the song from the PBS show Dora The Explorer. But did you know that “Báte, Báte Chocoláte” is probably about 400 years old, first appearing as a counting rhyme in schoolbooks written in Spain? Wow, that’s an ancient song, but one that is so easy and fun to sing.

If you don’t speak Spanish, here’s a bit of an explanation of the song.

The song counts to three in Spanish (uno, dos tres), then it progressively spells out the word “chocolate”(CHO CO LA TE).  The word “báte” is from the Spanish verb “batear” meaning to whip or beat (like you might beat cake batter or whip homemade frosting with a mixer).  Why is the chocolate being beaten or whipped?  That’s how the drink is prepared.

To make Mexican hot chocolate, you put all the ingredients together and heat Mixing The Chocolate from Patithem up. As you do, you use a special carved stick called a molinillo that is rubbed between your hands to create the frothiness and delicious texture that makes this such a special treat! Although this was mainly considered a breakfast treat in Mexico, it’s hard to imagine it not being delicious any time of the day or night.

So sing along, or better yet, whip up some hot chocolate while you enjoy the song, especially if the weather is cold and frosty!

Links And Resources

Báte, Báte Chocoláte” – Free Lyric Sheet from TPT
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bate-Bate-Chocolate-Free-Lyric-Sheet-3732121
Báte, Báte Chocolate – On Itunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/do-the-limbo/id208109471?i=208109484&ign-mpt=uo%3D6
abuelita  chocolateBáte, Báte Chocolate – On Amazon mp3
http://amzn.com/B0013XM8LCDirections For Mexican Hot Chocolate From Pati’s Mexican Table: (Photo above is courtesy of Pati’s Mexican Table – An Excellent site for exploring Mexican Cooking!)
http://www.patismexicantable.com/2010/02/ancient_ways_for_comfort_in_cold_days_mexican_hot_chocolate/
Directions For Mexican Hot Chocolate From Multicultural Cooking Network  http://multiculturalcookingnetwork.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/authentic-mexican-hot-chocolate-recipe/

What Are You Singing For Groundhog’s Day?

Daria_GroundhogCover_Web

I just love groundhog’s day!  Maybe it’s because groundhogs are so cute and cuddley. Or I was born somewhat near the permanent residence of Punxatawney Phil, official groundhog predictor of Spring. Or because groundhogs  have adorable nicknames such as whistle pigs and woodchucks.

So, for so many reasons I couldn’t just crawl back into my hole for 6 more weeks of winter and I jumped at the chance to write and record a silly Groundhog’s Day song.

groundhog pop-up hereThe simple song is based around the tongue-twister “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck… if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” I also wondered how much ground a groundhog could grind and how much sap a sapsucker could suck. And, yes, even though the lyrics are in song form, the tongue twisters still are a challenge to sing or say.

You can find the song lyric freebie below, plus a link to a sweet Springtime activity that includes pop-up puppets. It’s a fun way of having your own groundhog’s day anytime and anywhere.

And the best thing? You can laugh yourself silly while you predict an early Spring!

Links and Resources

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

Groundhog’s Day Song From Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-groundhog-song-how-much/id385842751

Groundhog’s Day MYO Pop-Up Puppet Activity from TPT – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-and-Pop-Up-Groundhog-Puppet-Activity-484374

little groundhogs

Travel To Mongolia and Discover The Morin Khuur!

It’s wonderful if you can travel with your children to beautiful and exotic places around the world.  But, if you can’t, you can always spend time reading about other countries, discovering their cultures and listening to their unique and beautiful traditional music.

Can you imagine a trip to Mongolia?  Known as the “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky, it’s the birthplace of Ghengis Khan and home to camels and reindeer.  It’s a place of extreme temperatures and equally striking beauty.  It’s theScreen shot 2018-01-17 at 3.45.16 PM birthplace of “throat-singing” and the home of an instrument called morin khuur.

The morin khurr or horsehead fiddle is the national instrument of Mongolia and is often said to symbolize the deep and connected relationship between horses and people in this region of the world.  Similar to the erhu from China, it has only 2 string and is played with a bow.  You can hear it’s unique sound and playing style in this video of a song titled “My Father. My Hero”.

We’ve just created a morin khurr poster and freebie coloring page as part of our “Stringed Instruments of The World” series. You can find a link to them below.  If you’d like to visit other regions of the world through music, you can also check out some of our other music mini-courses below.

Links and Resources

Morin Khuur -Freebie coloring page -  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mongolian-Horsehead-Fiddle-Free-Coloring-Page-3578368

Morin Khuur – poster and coloring page - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Morin-Khuur-Mongolian-Fiddle-3578353

Visit Australia – Music Mini-Series -  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Aboriginal-Instruments-Music-Mini-Course-2816723

Instruments of India coverVisit India – Music Mini-Series – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Instruments-of-India-Mini-Course-2682389

Visit The Andes – E-Book and CD – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Childs-Life-In-The-Andes-E-Book-Plus-Music-CD-639838

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

4 Recycled Thanksgiving Music Crafts!

Daria's homemade gongRecycle, Upcycle – Repurpose!

Isn’t it great to find ways to use items that might be a part of your holiday celebration.  Instead of tossing them into the trash, you can turn  them into treasure.   Well, maybe not treasure, but definitely great kids music crafts that can provide hours of fun while you’re relaxing during or after a wonderful celebration.

Here’s our 4 fav holiday craft re-makes.

Turkey Roasting Pan into A Gong

Seriously, is there a better way to get the whole group together than to bang a gong? Let the kids use the extra turkey roasting pan to create this wonderful Chinese-style gong to mark time at your celebration.  Decorate it with your Chinese zodiac animals – the chart of Chinese Zodiac animals is part of this pdf – or just apply pure creativity!

DARIA’s Chinese Gong Freebie on TPThttps://buff.ly/2mTkrU4

Ocean drum completePie Box Ocean Drum

We love this craft. There’s a cool little window built right in so you can see what’s making the sound of the sea in your ocean drum. This simple craft sounds remarkable and is wonderfully relaxing!

DARIA’s Ocean Drum Craft Posthttps://buff.ly/2zZPGCm

Turn Your Coffee Can into An Africa Style Drum

Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 12.05.42 PMWho doesn’t love a hand drum? Here’s a super simple way to turn the empty coffee cans into a child-size hand drum.

Coffee Can Hand Drum From DARIA’s Website (Look Under African Drum) http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

pencil beater on drumA Beater For Those Drums!

While you’ve got a gong and a hand drum, you might want to make your own easy beaters. Opt for unsharpened pencils or go for a nature walk and find sticks that can create sturdy basic beaters for any drum you may have or make.

DARIA’s Easy Drum Beaters Posthttps://buff.ly/2hbREba

 

Learn A Song In Quechua for Native American Heritage Month

yaw yaw girlNovember is Native American Heritage Month and it’s a great time to connect with the rich cultures that exist thoroughout North and South America – as well as the world. Here’s an easy song to learn and sing that comes from Quechua culture and I’m proud to say that my version of this folksong from Peru is being used by children’s choruses across the USA.

What Is Quechua?

Quechua is a beautiful indigenous language that was spoken widely throughout South America during the time of the Incas.  When Spanish Conquistadors arrived at that continent, dialects of Quechua were spoken in countries now known as Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Bolivia as well as the southern part of Columbia and the northern regions of Argentina.

Yaw, Yaw, Puka Polleracha

So here’s the song and a video of the song. The lyrics are simple. Someone is calling to a girl in the red skirt (puka = red, polleracha = skirt, yaw = hey). The person singing says “I saw what you did and I am going to tell your mom and dad on you!”

Learn More About Quechua and A Child’s Life In The Andes

If you like the song, you can find the complete lyric sheet, plus two language freebies below. These are a great way to learn about Quechua and get a sense of what the language sounds like and what some common words and phrases are.

zampoña boyAnd remember, all folk songs that come from a specific culture describe life in that world.  If you enjoy the song, you might like to check out my E-book: A Child’s Life In The Andes that shares more about the music, the food, the chores and the day to day life of children in this beautiful indigenous culture.

Links And Resources

Yaw Yaw – Lyric Sheet (TPT Freebie) - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Yaw-Yaw-Puka-Polleracha-Free-Lyric-Sheet-Song-In-Quechua-3340027

Quechua Mini-Lesson for Kids (TPT Freebie) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Quechua-Language-Mini-Lesson-For-Kids-Colors-Numbers-And-Common-Words-2825911

Learn About Quechua Language – For Kids (TPT Freebie) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Quechua-Language-For-Kids-Verbs-Common-Phrases-and-Notes-on-Spelling-2825952

Yaw Yaw Sheet Musichttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Yaw-Yaw-Puka-Polleracha-Sheet-Music-2707454

A Child’s Life In the Andes E-Book and CD of Andean Music https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Childs-Life-In-The-Andes-E-Book-Plus-Music-CD-639838

Win A Beautiful New Spanish Language Book + CD!

Cantale

We just found out that one of our favorite fellow bloggers is reviewing AND giving 5 copies of the beautiful new CD/Book set seen above – “Cántale A Tu Bebé”  (Sing To Your Baby!).

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already singing to your little ones and this Spanish language set can make it even easier and more fun to combine music and language learning at the same time.  It’s perfect for bilingual parents, Spanish-speaking parents or families learning Spanish.

Read the entire post for the story of the book and cd set, check out the info on bilingualism for baby or skip directly to the contest at the bottom of this page to enter and win!  http://www.biculturalmama.com/2017/09/music-book-baby-singing.html

Good luck and  don’t forget to …“Cántale A Tu Bebé” (Sing To Your Baby!)