Tag Archives: music for toddlers

Sing A Song For Earth Day – Free Music And Resources

whole world handsMany years ago I was lucky to write a song that has now become an anthem for Earth Day in over a dozen countries around the globe. A very simple song, it’s a musical parody of the beautiful African-American spiritual: He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.  Borrowing that melody; as is often done in folk music, we changed the lyrics to reflect what children can do to show love and respect for the Earth in their daily lives.

Original ideas for the song came from school children during a workshop about Earth Day and I compiled them in a 23 verse song since there were lots of great suggestions.  Later, I edited the choices down to a smaller number so the song would a bit shorter and easier to remember. I’m really proud to think about how singing this song reminds kids of all ages that the small changes they make in their choices in life can make a big difference – on Earth Day and everyday.

Write Your Own Earth Day Song

Since the song has such a simple format, we’ve created an activity where you can write your own Earth Day song. Sing the same simple chorus, but add your suggestions to the verses.  And there’s free sheet music, too, just check the resource links below.

Spanish Translation

A lovely, easy-to-sing Spanish version was written by Cecilia Fencer, head and heart of Spanglish.house.com. Click on that link below to find the words to the Earth Day song in Spanish.

Video

Here’s the official video for “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands”.   If you want to check it out on Vimeo, you can find it here: https://vimeo.com/18765345

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands

Links and Resources

We’ve Got The Whole World In our Hands – Free Song, lyrics, and sheet music: http://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

Write Your Own Earth Day Song: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-your-own-earth-day-song/

Make A Rhythm Tree For Earth Day: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/a-rhythm-tree-for-earth-day-or-any-day/

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos – An Earth Day Song In Spanish
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-an-earth-day-song-in-spanish/

Make An Earth Day Nature Walk Rattle: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-an-earth-day-nature-walk-rattle/

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

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

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A Rhythm Tree For Earth Day Or Any Day

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

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

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

So here’s our top suggestions.

Pizza Pie Plate Gong

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

Milk Jug Rattle

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

A Giant Guiro

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

 

Hanging Log Drum

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

Play With Your Hands – Or With Recycled Mallets

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

 

What Else Can You Find To Make Music With?

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

Links and Resources

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

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

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

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

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!

Que Llueva – A Favorite Rhyme From Ecuador

Children’s nursery rhymes are a wonderful way to bond with your child. They are perfect for sharing and encouraging a second language and also for parents who may feel shy about singing to their child.

We are excited to have this first guest post in our Children’s Rhymes From Around The World Series contributed by Linda Lopez-Stone. Her blog, Hispanic Mama, Empowering Through Heritage And Language, can be found at the links below.

que-llueva-image

My favorite time of the year in Ecuador is winter. This is the season when families visit the beach and kids spend more time playing outdoors since schools are closed. Because of the country’s location, winters in the coastal area of Ecuador are hot and rainy.

I remember how the rain felt as the perfect combination for those hot afternoons of outdoor play with the kids of the neighborhood. As soon as we started feeling the first drops of water, we would sing with joy: “¡ Que llueva! ¡ Que llueva!” (Let it rain! Let it rain!)

The rain was also very welcomed by the farmers. It meant that their cosechas (crops) were going to be lucrative. This was especially important for a country where a considerable portion of its economy was dependent on agriculture. I bet the farmers were also singing with excitement: “¡ Que llueva! ¡ Que llueva!”

Although I do not live in Ecuador anymore, I still get excited when I see the first signs of the rain. It symbolizes the joy of my childhood and reminds me of the hope of many people in Ecuador. The rain would always make me happy!

Que Llueva – Spanish Lyrics
¡ Que llueva! ¡ Que llueva!
El quetzal está en la cueva.
¡ Qué llueva! ¡ Qué llueva!
El quetzal está en la cueva.
Los pajaritos cantan
Las nubes se levantan.
Que sí, que no
Que caiga un chaparrón.

Let it Rain – English Lyrics
Let it rain! Let it rain!
The Quetzal is in the cave.
Let it rain! Let it rain!
The Quetzal is in the cave
The little birds are singing
The clouds rise up.
Oh yes, oh no
Let there be a downpour
Oh yes, oh no
Let there be a downpour

Here’s a version of Que Llueva that adds 5 extra verses. It starts with the quetzal bird in the cave and then adds verses with a condor, a turtle, a snake, a llama and a deer! The repetition is wonderful for learning the song and building vocabulary in Spanish.

- Linda López-Stone    Linda is a Latina millennial mom and a bilingual writer sharing stories about bicultural and bilingual life in Raleigh, NC. Discover her blog at: http://hispanicmama.com/

Links and Resources

Que Llueve – Sheet Music From Mama Lisa’s World (a slightly different version of the song) http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=557

Free Music Resources For Back To School

WOM mini postersWhether you’re a classroom teacher, a homeschooler or a parent who loves sharing music, you’ve probably already found the wonderful site – TeachersPayTeachers. It’s filled with all kinds of resources including a huge amount of freebies and fun for all aspects of teaching, not just music.

If you follow me on TPT here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Daria-Music you’re welcome to enjoy my fantastic back-to-school freebies. At this time of year, I generally set four of my top-selling items to “0” so my followers and friends can take advantage of these resources as they plan ahead to the coming year.

WHAT’S FREE THIS YEAR?

You can get my Parent’s Choice Award-winning children’s music cd – Beautiful Rainbow World – including songs from 12 world cultures. There’s a pack of mini-posters of world music instruments from all across the globe plus two instrument-making craft activities. Until Friday  (August 12th),  follow me on TPT and you can download these items for free:

ADD SOME MULTICULTURAL MUSIC TO YOUR CLASSROOM https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Multicultural-Music-CD-Beautiful-Rainbow-World-by-DARIA-1189106

WHO DOESN’T LOVE POSTERS AND MINI-POSTERS? https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/World-Music-Instrument-Mini-Posters-2182210

PERFECT FOR NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH (NOVEMBER) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Native-American-Turtle-Shell-Rattle-Craft-Using-Recycled-Materials-600715

EXCELLENT FOR NEW YEAR AND CHINESE NEW YEAR FUN https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

WHAT ELSE IS NEW IN DARIA’s TPT STORE?

We’ve also just added two fun mini-courses that share the Instruments Of India along with Ancient Instruments From The Middle East. There’s gorgeous coloring pages of darbuka drums, sitars and handbells along with crafts to make Screen shot 2016-08-09 at 1.10.15 PMIndian ankle bells, dhol drums or even an Egyptian sistrum that dates back to the time of the pyramids! Plus there’s lots of songs, lyric sheets, sheet music, activities, E-books and more.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Instruments-of-India-Mini-Course-2682389

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-From-The-Middle-East-Mini-Lesson-2127995

Just drop by and become a follower, here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Daria-Music

UPDATE:  Did you miss the free items because the sale is over?  If you are a teacher or homeschooling family on a limited budget, drop DARIA a line at dariamusic at yahoo dot com.  She can often send along a free copy of one of her resources for your classroom!

And happy planning for the school or homeschool year for 2016/2017!

7 Awesome Summer Music Ideas!

Rhythm Tree drumming around

Will you be going camping, hosting a summer camp or just having a staycation in the great outdoors of your big backyard?

If so, music may be one of the creative activities you can include to make it even more enriching, fun and memorable.  Here’s a compilation of our most popular “making music outdoors” posts.

Make a Rhythm Tree

rhythm tree - playgroundYou already have the components for a large outdoor percussion place right in your garage or recycling bin!  A bit of artistic creativity can turn them into items to adorn a tree for free form musical expression.  Don’t have the perfect tree?  You can always substitute a clothesline or rope for a different version of this great kids project.  Check out the full post here:

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/a-music-tree-or-rhythm-clothesline-for-outdoor-musical-fun/

Nature Walk Rattle

Earth Day Rattle FinishedThis super-simple craft starts with a wide-mouth recyclable container and ends – anywhere you want it to!  Talk a hike around your local park, lake or playground and you can identify and gather materials that will shake rattle and roll for you.  Do this activity for younger kids as a sensory craft or for older kids as a plant or natural object identification quest.  Or a scavenger hunt.  Anyone up for finding a fern frond, a hickory nut or a pine cone?  All the details are here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-an-earth-day-nature-walk-rattle/

Make a Bullroarer!

bullroarers - plasticWant to create a musical instrument shared by both Australian Aboriginal and Native American peoples?  Make and play a bullroarer and you should be able to hear it an amazingly long distance away.  Since this requires a bit of space to play, it’s perfect for large open spaces or as an outdoor activity.  Check out the crazy sound it makes and the complete post about Australian instruments here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/outdoor-musical-play-make-your-own-bullroarer/

Do The Limbo

limbo at core creekHave a large group of kids and want to get a lakeside or pool party going – start the limbo.  This post shares the background of the limbo plus several ways you can adjust the rules for kids of all ages and abilities.  How low can you go?  Find out here: https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/it%E2%80%99s-summertime-%E2%80%93-do-the-limbo/

Gourd Water Drum

plastic water drum playingVersions of this drum that floats on water are found in both Mayan and African cultures.  Make your own version outside on a hot day and create some amazing sounds while cooling off and playing in the water!  Read all about it here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/musical-water-play-a-myo-gourd-style-water-drum/

Craft it Up!

bella and washboardAlthough this is an Earth Day themed E-book, the 10 crafts start with recycled materials found anywhere and end up with gongs, drums, rattles, clapsticks and much more.  Check out this E-book plus cd, for lots of ideas for the summer craft table: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

Write An Earth Day Song

You don’t need to go to a music camp to learn basic songwriting with easy activities like this that take a recognizable melody and help you craft your own small hands change the worldlyrics.  Use the Earth Day theme or choose another subject and you’re on your way to creating a personalized soundtrack to this summer’s fun.  No previous songwriting experience needed!  Check it out here: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-your-own-earth-day-song/

Irish Music For Kids!

St. Patrick’s Day is on the way!

Holidays are a wonderful time to explore both music and world cultures with your young child. Here’s a super-easy kids drum craft for St. Patrick’s Day – a drum that originally was a farm sieve for separating grain!  A kid’s size bodhran (pronounced bow-ran) can be easily made from a pie tin or a metal take-out container. And definitely make the “tipper”, too. It’s a special kind of drum beater that is tapped back and forth and it great for teaching motor skills to kids!  Step-by-step directions can be found in the tutorial below from the TPT website.

What do the classic Irish symbols mean? Naturally, you’ll recognize shamrocks as symbols of Celtic Knot USEgood luck. The Celtic Cross often represents religion and spirituality. A harp is often pictured because it is the national instrument of Ireland and the Claddagh (two hands joined by a crowned heart) is a beautiful symbol that represents the bonds of friendship, love and loyalty.

Wondering what a bodhran looks or sounds like? Watch these three young boys showing off their formidable drumming and Irish dancing skills. Plus, feel free to check out our round-up of Irish music-related crafts and posts for kids, listed below.

Links and Resources

MYO Bodhran and Tipper Tutorial: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Irish-Drum-Make-and-Play-Your-Own-Bodhran-and-Tipper-2410657

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

Morris Dancing Bells For Kids
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/easy-morris-dancing-bells-for-children/

Easy Introduction to 10 Irish Instruments
https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/an-easy-introduction-to-irish-instruments/

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

EGG-citing Crafts for Spring!

Pysanky YES!

About this time of year we like to share our one non-music related craft!  It’s a child’s version of Ukrainian eggs.  You can find the complete step-by-step directions here:

pysanky removing waxhttp://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/simple-pysanky-ukrainian-easter-eggs-a-beautiful-spring-craft/

And since we’ve got eggs and Easter eggs on our mind, here’s a fun, absolutely child-safe version of shaker eggs that are a great way to add music to any Springtime celebration.

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/tag/shaker-eggs/

Here’s wishing you a happy Springtime and lots of egg-citing times!

Easy Chinese New Year Song!

Chinese New year Image

Chinese New Year lasts for a full 15 days of festivities.  It’s a great opportunity to combine fun and play with learning more about Chinese language and culture.

And if you don’t speak any Mandarin, don’t worry. This popular New Year’s song -Gong Xi Gong Xi -  is really easy for both children and adults to learn.  Here is a version in pinyin and English as well as two video versions to help you sing or share this song with children at this exciting time of year.

Gong Xi Gong Xi

Měi tiáo dà jiē xiǎo xiàng (Every big street little alley)

Měi gè rén de zuǐ lǐ (In everyone’s mouth)

Jiàn miàn dì yī jù huà (The first sentence (we) say when (we) see each other)

Jiù shì gong xǐ gong xǐ (Must be” “Congratulations! Congratulations!”)

Gōng xǐ, gong xǐ, gong xǐ nǐ ya, (Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations to you!)

Gong xǐ, gong xǐ, gong xǐ nǐ (Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations to you!)

Videos

Ni Hao Kai Lan Gong Xi Gong Xi

Links And Resources 

Bolang Gu  - Craft versionMake a Bolang Gu – Monkey Drum https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Make Your Own Chinese Gong https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Chinese-Gong-From-Recycled-Materials-486935

Explore and Make Tibetan Handbells https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Explore-Tibetan-Handbells-Plus-a-Make-Your-Own-Handbell-Craft-560016

Erhu - Color ImageColor an Erhu – A Two-Stringed Chinese Violin https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Erhu-Chinese-Violin-Instruments-From-Around-The-World-1037355

About Chinese New Year

“Gong Xi! Gong Xi!” – The Excitement of Chinese New Year https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/gong-xi-gong-xi-the-excitement-of-chinese-new-year/

Chinese New Year ScrollsWhat To Expect In The Year of The Monkey http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/2016/01/18/year-of-the-monkey-chinese-new-year/

Chinese New Year Astrology Chart – Find Your Birth Year Here! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chinese-Astrology-Chart-What-Lunar-Year-Is-It-2377484b

Chinese New Year – Crafts And Creativity!

Chinese Dumplings For New Year  http://kidworldcitizen.org/2016/02/08/8935/

Lucky Money Envelops  http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/lucky-money-envelopes

Chinese Paper Lantern Craft – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/462956036675678391/

How To Make Paper Fortune Cookies http://unsophisticook.com/how-to-make-paper-fortune-cookies/

Recipes To Celebrate Chinese New Year http://intheplayroom.co.uk/2015/01/26/chinese-recipes-celebrate-chinese-new-year/

Picture Books Celebrating Chinese New Year http://youthlitreviews.com/2014/01/13/chinese-new-year-books-for-kids/

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/