Start the new year off with some music that will inspire your whole family to remember and honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Here are the direct links to add the “I Have A Dream” song to any of your favorite playlists plus a list of MLK Day freebies for you.
Haven’t heard the song yet? You can click on the Youtube video below!
Many 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!
Kids 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.
Lastly; 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.
It’s true – there are songs that parents love to hate. And kids love to sing because they are annoying beyond belief. So consider this post part summer songfest and part warning. These songs are funny and cute but they are also infectious earworms and some of them go on and on and on… just like a bad car ride!
100 Bottle Of Pop On The Wall
Okay, I am old enough to remember singing this song as 100 bottles of beer on the wall with my older brother pretending he was drunker after each bottle was counted down. Later versions use bottles of pop (soda), milk, juice or perhaps you can find another liquid to insert in this never-ending song
The lyrics are really simple.
100 bottles of pop on the wall, 100 bottles of pop
You take one down
And pass it around
99 bottles of pop on the wall!
(And so forth until you can’t stand it any longer.)
Redeeming value of this song? You do learn to count backwards. And to develop patience!
I Know A Song That Gets On Everybody’s Nerve
And, boy – does it! This short, repeating song is sung to the tune of “Glory Hallelujia”, but you’ll only say “Glory Hallelujia” once it’s over.
Here’s the lyrics:
I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves
I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves
I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves
And this is how it goes
(Back to the first line)
You can find a very annoying version of that song here:
Similar to “Everybody’s Nerves”, this infinite loop of a song has a bit more of a story and a few more words. I’m not sure it that makes it better – or worse! This is the song that never ends,
yes it goes on and on my friend.
Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
and they’ll continue singing it forever just because…
(Back to the first line)
We’re also pretty sure we’ve located the most annoying video of this song ever – right here:
Aren’t There More Annoying Songs?
You bet there are!
In a few days we’ll add the next few songs which rose to the top of our parent’s lists of annoying road trip songs – including “The Bear Went Over The Mountain” and “There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea”.
But do you have a particular favorite? Please comment below or drop me a line at dariamusic at yahoo dot com so I can add it here, too. Thanks – and enjoy your next road trip, either with or without these classic kids songs!
Although no one likes to be cooped up in a car for long periods of time, family road trips – short or long – can create some wonderful memories. Music is a great way to pass the time, share songs from your past, or even write some new ones.
Here are some handy ways to add music to a family outing or a vacation get-away.
What To Pack
Does your child have a favorite cd? Bring that along. Is there a new cd you’ve been wanting to listen to with your kids? Add that one for novelty. Don’t forget a playlist for sleepytime as that can help create a car naptime on a long journey or be a welcome nighttime ritual if you’re away from home or in unfamiliar surroundings.
A road trip can be a great place to share special memories from your own past through music. What songs did you love during your childhood? School days? Did you go to a summer camp or participate in a girl scout or boy scout troop? What songs made you laugh or smile back then and still bring up happy memories now?
You can share these songs by singing them aloud, teaching them to your child or look for cd’s/digital versions you can play on your car stereo. What a great way for your child to connect with your roots and feel a sense of continuity with the past!
Don’t Forget The Classics
Even if you’re not camping out and singing around a campfire, there are some classic summertime songs. What about “Kumbayah” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land”? Around 4th of July you may want to sing “Grand Old Flag” or enjoy some Americana tunes such as “Liza Jane” or “Oh Susannah”. Do you remember John, Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt or a song about a hole in the bottom of the sea? What songs are your childhood “classics”?
Make It Interactive!
Remember the many great ways to make music interactive. You can carry a small basket of quiet instruments along with you, encourage your child to tap or clap quietly to the beat or learn and sing the chorus of any song together. Get creative! For instance, pick an easy song like “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” and have your child give your different colors to add to the song (Baa, Baa Green Sheep, Polka-Dotted Sheep?).
We’ll write more about “homemade songs” soon, but for the time being – make any road trip more fun by adding music!
One of the most wonderful things about making music with young children is that it easily becomes part of an active day. Who can resist making a parade or dancing around the house or the classroom when they are carrying a marching jingle stick? Best of all, the materials needed for this craft are often trashed (extra ribbon, tape, cardboard wrapping tubes, stray jingle bells) so this craft encourages you to upcycle, exercise and make music all at the same time. What a great way to begin the holiday fun!
Make Your Own Jingle Stick
Here are the supplies to assemble:
A jingle stick – look for a cardboard tube from wrapping paper, 3 foot ruler or large stick
1 (or more) pipecleaners
6 – 10 jingles per pipecleaner
Colorful electrical tape or duct tape
Optional: Paint, stickers, yarn or duct tape, for decoration.
Begin by stringing any number of jingles onto a pipecleaner. Use electrical tape to fasten the pipecleaner into place on the stick. It helps to fasten the pipecleaners to the stick between the jingles as well. If you like, make several pipecleaners strung with bells to add to different parts of your stick.
Once the jingles are in place, decorate the rest of the marching stick. Use paint, more tape, colorful ribbon, yarn or stickers to make it unique and wonderful.
Time To Play!
Other then using the jingle stick to lead a parade, there are lots of ways to get creative with your new instrument.
Sing any of your favorite holiday songs along to a beat created by your marching jingle stick.
Try tapping the stick on the floor while marching and use that sound as part of the rhythm being created.
Use marching jingle sticks as part of a holiday music presentation.
Try playing the jingle stick at a particular part of the song (like the chorus) or when you hear a particular word in a holiday song. For instance, a class can jingle the bells only when you hear the word “jingle” in the song “jingle bells”.
If you like, try it along to this version of Jingle Bells which shares lots of different ways to say “Happy Holidays” in different countries around the globe.
There’s a reason you find rattles in almost every culture around the globe.
They are amazingly simple and very powerful at the same time. A child playing a rattle becomes aware of how his or her movements change the sound they are making. They realize how the sound they create can “fit” with a beat and most studies of young children show that they are keenly aware of rhythmic patterns. Making and playing several varieties of homemade rattles can be a great way to explore music and have fun with a young child at the same time.
Recycled Rattles for Home or Classroom Play
Rattles made from gourds, seeds, feathers and a donkey’s jawbone
Most early rattles were made of materials such as dried gourds, seashells, clay, coconuts, bark and a variety of other natural objects. In Africa, caxixi rattles are made from woven fiber. In India, special rattles are made from colorful palm fronds woven together in clever patterns. On the coast of Peru there’s even a rattle made from the jawbone of a donkey. In short, people make instruments from materials that they have found available near their home. We are going to take that same approach to creating recycled rattles!
Clean and dry a variety of small plastic containers (water bottles, juice containers, etc.) and assemble some objects that can serve as the contents of the rattles. Here’s a list of common materials that work well and the type of sound they create:
Quiet rattles: sand, salt, sugar, confetti, cotton balls, craft puff balls, paper bits, Q-tips, tiny pasta (such as pastina or acine de pepe).
Medium Rattles: paper clips, small pebbles, birdseed, small beads, small dried beans, rice, smaller buttons.
Loud Rattles: dried macaroni/pasta, large pebbles, large beads, coins, large dried beans, larger buttons.
The Inside of the Rattle
Choose the objects you’d like to add to the rattle to create the sound and also consider including some decorative elements. Since plastic containers are transparent, you can easily add confetti, glitter, colorful ribbon, pipe-cleaners or similar items. They won’t alter the sound but they will add color, beauty and interest when the rattle is being played.
The Outside of the Rattle
If you like, you can decorate the outside of the rattle with stickers, markers or add a handle made from pipe-cleaner, yarn or ribbon. Feel free to get creative. When you’re done, it’s time to seal it with some sturdy tape, such as electrical tape. This helps keep the contents inside and generally makes it more child-safe around young music-makers.
Now you’re ready to have fun with your rattle!
Time To Play!
Shake along while you sing one of your favorite songs. Try playing slowly and shaking your rattle to the beat. Then speed up the song. Can you keep up and keep in time? Play along with recorded music. Listen to different types of music and see how your rattle fits in with the music being played.
An Easy Rattle Game For Young Children
If everyone in a class or a small group has made a rattle, you try this easy game.
Ask the children to play a certain way until the music stops. For instance, the teacher can say: “Shake your rattle softly until the music stops”. The teacher stops the recorded music (like in a game of musical chairs) at an unexpected place and sees if all the students were able to stop at the same time. Next, change the directions to other simple ways to play, such as:
Shake your rattle back and forth until the music stops.
Shake your rattle up and down until the music stops.
Shake your rattle round and round until the music stops.
Shake your rattle very softly until the music stops.
Shake your rattle loudly until the music stops.
Shake your rattle down low until the music stops.
Shake your rattle up high until the music stops.
Shake your rattle quickly until the music stops.
Shake your rattle slowly until the music stops.
Aside from this one game, there are lots of other ways you can make music and have fun with a rattle while you are learning, playing and recycling – all at the same time!
The guiro is a perfect “first instrument” to share with young children. It’s incredibly simple and versatile at the same time. In a matter of minutes, a child can be exploring the sounds created by the guiro and making rhythms by rubbing the rasp back and forth or up and down along the surface of the guiro.
What Is A Guiro?
Although you can find similar instruments all over the world, a guiro is an instrument with Latin American roots that was originally made from wood, bone or gourds carved to have a ridged surface. In the picture above you can see a bone guiro from Mexico, a wooden version and a homemade guiro made from a recycled plastic water bottle. Some modern guiros are made of plastic or metal as well.
Play A Guiro With A Rasp
To play a guiro you rub an object across the ridges on the surface of your instrument. Older guiros often have sharp metal rasps so it can be useful to substitute more child-safe choices. Here are some fun ways to create sound on a guiro. They include hair picks, plastic spoons/forks/sporks, chopsticks, an egg whisk or an unsharpened pencil. Each will create a slightly different sound when used to play the guiro.
Make A Simple Guiro
Since it’s unlikely that you have the perfect dried gourd or an old bone lying around your house, start this musical craft in your recycling bin. Sort through the plastic bottles to see if you have one that has ridges and is sturdy enough to use in this project.
Although your plastic bottle guiro is ready to play “as is”, you can also add some decoration inside the bottle and seal it up before you begin to play. You can look for things like confetti or colorful paper shreds. Or you can choose to add objects that will make the bottle work as a rattle as well. To make a guiro that doubles as a rattle, add a small amount of any on-hand material such as bird seed, beads, pebbles or dried beans, rice or pasta.
If you’ve add anything to the inside, it’s a good idea to seal the bottle with a strong tape; such as electrical tape, so the contents will stay inside and keep the bottle from being opened when played. You might even want to attach your rasp to the guiro with some colorful ribbon or yarn as in the example here
Play Your Guiro!
You’ve probably already figured this out! The guiro is played by scraping back and forth or up and down along the ridges. You can put on some of your favorite music and let your child experiment with what sounds good to them. Or you can learn some basic rhythms together with your child. Here are some fun ways to begin.
Try playing along with a whole song by just scraping down or by just scraping up.
Try playing along with a song by scraping: down/up, down/up, down/up.
Try playing along with a song by scraping:
down/up – down/up/down…, down/up – down/up/down…
Discover the patterns that sound good to your ear or write a new song to go along with a rhythm you’ve just discovered. If you start with this simple and clever little instrument, there’s no telling how much creative musical fun you can have!
This week we wanted to share a guest post and a wonderfully simple musical craft and activity from Cari at Time For Play – Button Gloves!
Hello Music Lovers.
I’m Cari from over at Time for Play. I have worked with young children for over 20 years and am now owner of my own Preschool. Over on my blog, I share simple, cheap, and easy activities and experiences for young children.
I would like to share with you all how to make a very, simple instrument that you and your children can make. They are Button Gloves.
I came up with them while working with 3 and 4 year olds who hadn’t quite mastered the snapping skill. With these they can click, click, and click their way through song after song.
Here’s how we created them:
You need some gloves, buttons and a glue gun.
That’s all it takes.
Squeeze a drop of hot glue on each glove finger and press on a button.
Have the kids slip on their new button gloves and get to tapping. We love to put them on and click them on the fridge, tile floor, wall, and some metal bowls and pans.
Exploring with these musical gloves provides a great experience in listening for differences in sounds and gets them using those little muscles in their hands that they will need for writing. They learn coordination, cooperation, and social skills when they work with a partner to tap their gloves together too.
Musical button gloves can be a very simple musical instrument with an added bonus of helping children develop and practice important skills. You can even make yourself some! I did and enjoy them as much as the kids do!
I would love for anyone to visit me at Time for Play . You can also find me on Facebook @Time for Play and Twitter @time_for_play.