Tag Archives: Music for children

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!)

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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!

Take A Nature Walk – Make An Instrument!

sistrums-sticksAutumn is such a great time to take a nature walk with your child!  Maybe you have a wooded backyard or a park nearby?  Or perhaps there is a natural area near your home where you can enjoy the changing seasons.

As you take a walk in nature, look for any stick or small branch that’s formed in the shape of a “Y”.   If you find one, you can take it home and make a wonderful little musical instrument that actually dates back to ancient Egypt.

What Is A Sistrum

sistrum-posterSistrums are rattles that are found all over the world.  This clever little percussion instrument starts with some sort of forked object and then has a string or wire running between the two forks. On the strings or wires are objects that rattle and clank, making a lovely noise when shook back and forth.  In ancient Egypt, sistrums was used as part of the Pharaoh’s court and can even be seen pictured in hieroglyphics!

Supplies

Small stick or branch
Sand paper (optional)
Sturdy twine or floral wire
Colorful yarn
Noise-making Objects – buttons, beads, jingles, paper clips,
Recycled noise-making objects – soda tabs, bottle caps, compressed bottle tops (our next post will show you how to make and use these safely to avoid sharp edges).

Start with the Stick!

Once you’ve found a sturdy stick or branch that’s shaped like the letter “Y”, you making-sistrums-peace-valleymight want to take a bit of sandpaper and sand down any rough edges.  Then take the sturdy twine or floral wire and secure it to one side of the “Y”.  Now add any of rattling objects and hold the wire in place without wrapping it on the other side.  Check to see if you like the sound it creates.  If you do, then wrap the wire or twine securely in place.  If not, experiment with adding or removing objects to get the sound you like.

Here’s a hint, less objects often make a more pleasing sound!

Add extra strings of noise-makers if you like.

wooden-sistrumMaking It Unique

After creating the noise-making part of the rattle, you may wish to decorate the handle or the sides with colorful yarn, woven bands, electrical tape or even painting or adding other decorations. This is a very open-ended project and you can be very creative with it!

Learn About The History Of The Sistrum

If you want to tie this project into a study of world cultures, you can check out the Ancient Instruments of the Middle East kids music mini-course.  Or simply have fun with the Egyptian coloring page.  Links and other resources are below.  Happy crafting and music-making!

Links and Resources

Free Coloring Page – Egyptian Sistrum  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Ancient Instruments of the Middle East  kids music mini-course https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-From-The-Middle-East-Mini-Lesson-2127995

Free Doumbek (Middle Eastern Drum) Poster and Coloring Page https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Middle-Eastern-Drums-Doumbek-Background-Coloring-Page-2049118

5 Musical Activities With Directions In Spanish

actividades

Are you part of a bilingual school, preschool or cultural center?  Would directions to some exciting musical projects in Spanish make a fun addition to your classroom or enrichment activities?

Although we don’t have all our activities and posts in Spanish, here are some of our reader’s favorites, especially for making and playing with young children.

Make a Roly-Poly Thing!  -  Construye Una Cosita Musical Que Rueda https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/construye-una-cosita-musical-que-rueda/

Make Your Own Gong!  -  ¡Haz tu propio gong!  https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/haz-tu-propio-gong/

Make Your Own Recycled Shaker Eggs – Haz tus propios huevos sonajeros reciclados  https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/haz-tus-propios-huevos-sonajeros-reciclados/

Making Rattles With Recycled Materials – Haciendo Sonajeros De Materiales Recicladas https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/haciendo-sonajeros-de-materiales-recicladas/

Make Some Marvelous Maracas – ¡Preparemos unas maravillosas maracas! https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/preparemos-unas-maravillosas-maracas/

Best Instruments For Kids – The Ocarina!

Here’s another in our series of great first instruments for kids.

In these posts, we’ve highlighted wonderful ways to explore and enjoy music through basic instruments that are inexpensive, easy to play and develop an “I can do it” enthusiasm in your young child.

ocarinas 5What’s An Ocarina?

An ocarina is an ancient instrument that dates back over 12,000 years, at least.  It can be found in early Chinese civilizations as well as in both Mayan and Aztec cultures.   Ocarinas can be found throughout Europe and around the world with wonderful variations in shape, size, sound and musical tones.   In more modern times, the ocarina was featured in a Nintendo 64 video game so many people recognize it from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”.

What Does An Ocarina Look Like?

beaded ocarinaJust one glance at the picture above and you can see that that ocarinas from different cultures look completely different.  What do they have in common?  They all have between 4 and 12 holes and many of them have a small area, like a buttonhole, that allows you to string the instrument and wear it around your neck, like this beaded ocarina necklace.

Traditionally, most ocarinas were made from clay or ceramic material, but they can also be made of plastic, wood, glass, metal or even carved from bone.

Why Is This Perfect For Young Children?

This instrument is very simple.  You start by blowing into the ocarina and listening to the sound.  Next try covering the bottom hole or holes with your thumb and noticing if the sound is different.  Then try covering one of the top holes with your finger and fluttering it back and forth.  Doing this creates a bird whistle sound that is really impressive!

legend of zelda ocarinaNext experiment with different combinations of thumbs on the bottom and fingers on the top.  And don’t worry – it’s way easier then it sounds!  In fact, many ocarinas come with their own little book that has finger diagrams for lots of songs, such as Happy Birthday and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Starting with these basic tunes inspires confidence and soon you’ll be creating more complex melodies on your own.

Purchase A Good Ocarina – or Two!

If you’re looking for an ocarina to buy, it’s best to avoid the cheapest ones.  They might look great as jewelry but they often don’t sound good and can be really frustrating for a first time player!  If you’re purchasing from Amazon or a similar service, you can read the reviews and find one that is better suited to making great music.  And – while you’re at it – buy an extra ocarina, or one with a different shape or design.  You may want to play with your child or see how different ocarinas have different musical scales or possibilities.

Learn To Play With Your Child!

No matter how old you are, learning a new skill can be tough.  If you get an extra ocarina or two and learn with your child, they can see how developing a new talent has ups and downs as well as epic fails and triumphs.  It helps them to feel okay with a process that might take a bit of time and patience to thoroughly master.

Either way, it won’t be long until you and your young one will be making beautiful music together

Ocarinas, anyone?

Links And Resources

Play The Spoons
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/you-can-play-the-spoons-just-like-on-dog-with-a-blog/

Play The Ukulele  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/the-ukulele-a-great-first-instrument-for-young-children/

Play A Tin Whistle  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/whistle-a-merry-tune-with-a-tin-whistle/

Australian Instruments for Kids – Didgeridoo and Bilma
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/the-ukulele-a-great-first-instrument-for-young-children/

Hawaiian Rhythm Sticks – Pu’ili
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/make-your-own-puili-hawaiian-rhythm-sticks/

STL Ocarinas (as seen in the Legend of Zelda) http://www.amazon.com/STL-Ocarina/b/ref=bl_dp_s_web_2601372011?ie=UTF8&node=2601372011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=STL+Ocarina

Shake Them Skeleton Bones!

skeleton pngJust in time for Halloween, here’s a cute kid’s version of the African-American spiritual song, Dry Bones (or Dem Bones). It’s really fun for this time of year plus a great way to learn or quiz the bones in the human body.

And, don’t you just love when you can dance around, make music and learn something new all at the same time?

LYRICS TO THE SKELETON BONES SONG

Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones
Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones
Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones
Let’s shake them skelton bones

The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone
The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone
The ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone
Let’s shake them skeleton bones

The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone
The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone
The thigh bone bone’s connected to the hip bone
Let’s shake them skeleton bones

The hip bone’s connected to the back bone
The back bone’s connected to the neck bone
The neck bone bone’s connected to the head bone
And… shake them skeleton bones

Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones
Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones
Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones
Let’s shake them skeleton bones

Then backwards…From the head bone to the toe bone

Who Wrote The Dry Bones Song?

Do you remember the actual Dry Bones or Dem Bones song? Here’s more about the actual song that’s being parodied here.

Who Wrote The Dry Bones Song?

https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/the-story-behind-the-dry-bones-song/

Guitar Chords For “Dry Bones”

http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/www.gospelmusic.org.uk/a-g/dry_bones.htm

The Dry Bones Song By The Delta Rhythm Boys http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1535

Links and Resources

Craft a spooky Halloween rattle based on a real jawbone instrument! http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/shake-them-rattles-and-bones/

Two Great Interactive Halloween songs – In English and Spanish

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/halloween-musical-fun-in-english-and-spanish/

You Can Play the Spoons – Just Like On “Dog With A Blog”!

tyler jamesAlthough we don’t watch a lot of t.v., our family has a soft spot in our hearts for any program with adorable animals, especially cute talking animals. So it was no wonder that several of my readers mentioned that a recent episode of “Dog With A Blog” featured the teen named Tyler playing the musical spoons, a topic that we’ve shared several times on Tiny Tapping Toes. And he did a terrific job!

But, if you look closer, he was using two connected spoons, like the ones you see below.  And that sure does make playing the spoons a lot easier. In fact, there’s a big behind-the-scenes look at Dog With A Blog tonight (Thursday, September 24, 2015) and we really hope they share some of their musical spoon outtakes!

Are you intrigued by the spoons? Here’s a quick run-down of tips for playing any kind of spoons you might find!

TWO CONNECTED SPOONS

Ok, this one is simple. You hold the spoon in one hand and tap either side on your knee and your opposite hand. Go back and forth until you create a beat! To get tricky, go back and forth between your hand and any other object, like your shoulder, someone else’s shoulder, the chair you’re sitting on, you get the picture, right?

In short, you’re making a beat by tapping the connected spoons against your hand on one other surface. With a bit of practice, you can make this sound amazing!

TWO UNCONNECTED SPOONS

This is the original way of playing the spoons and does take a bit of coordination. Check out our step-by-step post here and you’ll also find how to make that cool “trill” or “b-r-r-r-r-r!” noise with your spoons”.

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/tag/how-to-play-the-spoons/

TAPPING SPOONS WITH TINY TOTS

Okay, the last two were rather tricky and required lots of motor skills to accomplish. You can also feel free to play the spoons with young children by using them like rhythm sticks. Tap them gently together to make a beat. Sit opposite your child and tap the spoons together, making a beat while singing a song or playing music. Have your child match your movements to make the beat, too!

It’s a simple rhythm and music game with items that everyone has around their house. And; yes, you can use plastic spoons as well!

Russian wooden spoonsWOODEN SPOONS IN RUSSIA

It’s probably not surprising that other cultures discovered these everyday items could be used for as musical fun.Russian musical spoons, known as lozhki (Ло́жки), are the beautifully carved and decorated wooden spoons famous in that region of the world.

If you’d like to check out that form of musical spoons including some truly sensational hand (and foot) work, check out this post and video from Making Multicultural Music, below.

SPOONING FOR VIDEOS!

Want to see musical spoons in action? Here’s one American spoon video and one that features a Russian spoon expert.

Musical Spoons – American Style  http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1519

Russian Musical Spoons   https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/tag/russian-spoons/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doum – beka- Doum-beka – Doum! Middle Eastern Drums!

doumbek imageMusic is a great way to explore the world with your kids. If your cultural heritage is from the Middle East, doumbek and darbuka drums are probably part of the soundtrack of your life. If you’re adding music to your family’s fun or studying that region, then this easy-to-play drum is a great first instrument for any child.

Doumbeks and Darbukas

Both the doumbek and darbuka are goblet shaped played throughout the Middle boy and darbukaEast, Turkey and North Africa. There are lots of names for each drum and plenty of variations for the spelling of each name. For doumbeks, you might see “dumbec”, “dumbek” or “doumbec”.  Darbuka style drums are also called debuka, dumbelek tablah, tarabuka and toumperleki.

Historians think that these drums date back to Ancient Babylonia and that the name comes from the Arabic word “darba”, meaning “to strike”.

How Do You Play?

little girl plays darbukaOne of these simple Middle Eastern drums, there are three basic sounds. The “doum” sound comes from striking the drum in the center. Tapping the drum near the edge produces a higher sound called a “tek”. Tapping then muting the drum creates a third sound called a “pa”.

What If You Don’t Have a Drum?

Don’t have a drum? Although it may not sound exactly the same, you can also tap on a round container in these three different ways and make all the basics sounds you might hear on a doumbek or darbuka. You’d be surprised how good a “recycled drum” may sound when using even the most basic material found around your home or garage!

doumbek black and white imageColor A Doumbek!

Although some are plain, many doumbeks and goblet drums have beautiful folk or mosaic patterns that wrap around the body of the drum. In the coloring page below you can create your own colorful Middle Eastern drum.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Middle-Eastern-Drums-Doumbek-Background-Coloring-Page-2049118

Make An Earth Day Nature Walk Rattle!

Earth Day Rattle Finished

Take a nature walk and make a musical instrument! Here’s an easy and fun way to recycle a plastic container and spend some quality time outside all at the same time!

Supplies

Clean plastic container (wide-mouthed plastic bottles work best)!

Small amount of sand (or salt or sugar)

Tape (to seal the rattle)

Find A Great Green Space

Can you connect with nature in your front or backyard? If so, head on out and enjoy. If not, there are always parks, play areas, nature sanctuaries and arboretums within a short distance from most homes. And even if you think you know your area, a quick internet search will probably turn up some new places to discover where you can have a picnic or snack, do a nature craft or simply enjoy the great outdoors!

Collect Your Treasures

Bring a small bucket or container to collect your treasures. As you walk, keep an eye out for interesting items such as acorns, nuts, leaves, seeds, seedpods or pinecones. You might come across a feather or small shells if walking by a lake or stream. You may find beautifully shaped rocks or pebbles or smooth sticks that you’d like to collect.

Earth Day Rattle ContentsIf you’re walking at a local park, there are often naturalists who can help you identify what you’ve found or tell you more about what you’ve just collected or discovered.

Make Your Rattle

Start each rattle by pouring in a small amount of sand (or salt or sugar). Then, carefully add each item you’ve chosen to the container. Although you can do this craft without the sand, it will add a soft whooshing sound and then each treasure you add to the bottle will appear and disappear into the sand as you shake the container.

Seal It Up!

Once you are finished, seal up your rattle with a sturdy tape, such as colorful duct tape or electrical tape. It adds a nice design element and keeps small hands from opening the lid and creating a safety hazard.

Play Along To Some Some Earth Day Music!

What does your rattle sound like? Is it soft or loud? Did a friend, sibling or parent make a rattle, too?  Do their rattles look and sound, alike or different?

You can explore all kinds of listening skills with these quiet rattles and they are perfect for paying along with your favorite music. If you’d like some green musical inspiration, play along to the Earth Day anthem on the video below or click the link below for a free download of “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands”.

Links and Resources

Free song download - “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Handshttp://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

14 World Music Instruments That Can Be Made From Recycled Materials https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/14-world-music-instruments-that-can-be-made-from-recycled-materials/

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With Your Little One!

One of our most popular Tiny Tapping Toes posts was a MYO Irish Drum tutorial.   Decorate this easy, hand-held drum with any type of St. Patrick’s Day theme and you’re ready to play in minutes!

Younger kids can tap the drum with the “tipper” and older kids can try to master the technique of striking back and forth with the “cipín”, the Celtic name for the stick that strikes the drum.

You can see that complete post as well as related children’s music videos with an Irish theme at the links below.

Links And Resources

take out bodhransMake Your Own Bodhrán Irish Drum
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/make-your-own-bodhran-irish-drum/

Irish Videos on Multicultural Kids Music Vids
http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=512