Our Favorite Musical Activities to Get You Through Your Child’s Day

activities

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]At Kindermusik, we love finding and sharing ways to help make great parenting a little easier and a whole lot more musical!  And we’re not shy about our claim to be creative musical experts when it comes to knowing just which activities are classroom favorites as well as at-home favorites for kids and parents.  You don’t have to use all of these all of the time, but it’s great to keep a few of these ideas tucked into your back pocket to pull out throughout the day as needed.


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Sing a Good Morning song

This could be your Kindermusik hello song from class, or simply a song that you piggy-back (add your own words to a familiar tune), or a song that’s completely original.  Sing this song often enough, and your child will come to adore their Good Morning song routine almost as much as you crave your morning coffee routine.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Music for Play Time

Inspire your child’s play or just keep their heart humming along.  Simply stream your favorite Kindermusik songs from your phone, play your Music CD, or put that “favorites” playlist on a loop.  The kind of music you choose can brighten the energy for the day or provide a little calm as needed.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]activities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

A Lullaby (or two!) at Nap Time

Establish a little routine of a lullaby or two before nap time, and nap time will go much more smoothly.  We highly recommend gently rocking together as you sing and then giving a sweet little hug and kiss as you put your child down.  If they want more music, turn on your Kindermusik lullaby playlist or even some light Classical music as they fall asleep.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVDgVe1yGOg&list=RDQMzqKp89HqbKw”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Music for Imagining and Playing

The type of music a child sings or hears can truly capture the imagination.  Maybe there’s an art project on the agenda, or maybe the music can inspire the art project.  For example, older children can be challenged to “draw what they hear in the music.”  Or there can just be the nice happy background music for playing dress up or creating all kinds of things with homemade playdough, for example.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]activities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

A Dance before Supper

It’s been a long day for everyone, and supper time often becomes fussy time.  As the pasta is boiling, take a minute to whisk your child around the kitchen for a quick little dance.  Or make it a welcome home routine to do a happy little family dance with Dad when he walks in the door from work.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]activities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Read, Read, Read!

Music literacy and reading literacy go hand-in-hand, and we’re huge advocates of reading to your child any – and every! – chance you get.  Keep that basket of favorite books handy (Here’s a list of some of our favorite titles).  Reading a story together only takes a few minutes, but it’s amazing what a little cuddly lap time and one-on-one attention can do for you and your child.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

A Beloved Bedtime Routine

The bedtime routine can be quite musical too!  A silly song as you scrub together and wash up in the tub, a sweet song as you get them in their pj’s, a calming bedtime story, and of course, the best end to a musical day – another lullaby.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]activities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]That’s a lot of music and musical activities for a day!  But not to worry.  You’ll find inspiration, new songs, parenting tips, and even more ideas in your weekly Kindermusik classes and Home Materials.  And your child will absolutely blossom and thrive because of the music and the routines.  You’ll love the memories you create as a result, and how these simple musical activities will help you linger together in the precious moments of childhood just a little bit longer.


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Shared by Kindermusik educator Theresa Case, who has been sharing the wonders of Kindermusik with kids and families at Piano Central Studios for almost 25 years now.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][class_finder_form css=”.vc_custom_1500658279259{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

DIY Beach in a Bottle!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, we hope you are enjoying the summer weather! If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, winter is just getting started (of course – winter is a bit milder in some parts of the Southern Hemisphere)! Well, whether you live north or south, we wanted to share a creative way of bringing the beach inside with you! It’s a fun, family activity – you can make a miniature beach scene all your own to remember that special vacation, or simply have a little reminder of warmer weather when things get dreary! Let’s get started…


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Beach in a Bottle
A Ball canning jar works really well – and I don’t say that just because I went to Ball State! – (source: Pinterest)

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What You’ll Need

  • A glass bottle or jar of some type – canning jars work well as they give you a bit more room at the opening to really control your beach scene inside the container. If you want to go big, think of bulk jars of mayo or jam from your local warehouse club. Friendly suggestion – be sure to eat or relocate the contents before making you beach scene!
  • SAND! If you are at the beach, it’s all over the place. Just grab enough to fill the bottom third or so of your bottle or jar. If you aren’t near the beach, hardware stores sell bags of sand. You wont need all of it, but don’t worry – Pinterest has plenty of ideas for the left over sand. You’ll run out of sand before you run out of fun projects!
  • Shells – the right size for your bottle or jar. Remember, they have to fit in the opening.

And if you can find them or have the time…

  • Sea Glass – You can find pieces of sea glass if you take a long walks on the beach. It can add some color and texture to your beach in a bottle.
  • Dried Star Fish – because really, what beach scene is complete without a star fish. A plastic one will do in a pinch.
  • DIY Mini Beach Chair – Want to really make your scene authentic? Try your hand at making a mini-beach chair out popsicle sticks or craft sticks. If this is a family activity, perhaps have an older child work on this.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Here’s a Kindermusik video that walks you through the process![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]beach_in_a_bottle_vid[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Step by Step

  1. Fill the bottom third with your sand. You can shake the bottle of jar to level it out, or leave it uneven for that beach dune look!
  2. If you made the mini beach chair, put that in first.
  3. Place your shells and sea glass on the sand. There’s really no wrong way to do this – you’re in charge. Put them in the middle, around the edge, scattered randomly – whatever you like!
  4. Seal up your bottle or jar and display it for all to see! Placing it near a sun-filled widow will add a nice touch to your scene.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]And there you have it! A little bit of the beach inside your home. If you are feeling really adventurous, place a picture of the sky inside the bottle of jar to give your scene an authentic backdrop! You can even place a picture of your little one from that special trip inside the jar!

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As an added bonus, here’s Maestro Kindermusik Educator Beth Anspach reading from the Kindermusik Creatures of the Ocean Booklet, I Like the Beach. Enjoy![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajKavm7r_bI”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

At Home Beach Activities

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Whether it’s a beach stay-cation or an actual trip to the beach in store for you, we’re here with some fun and simple ideas for bringing the beach indoors and creating memories that are sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces for a long time to come. Best of all, instead of “I’m Bored!”, we bet you’ll even hear that sweet little voice begging with a smile, “Can we do that again, Mom?”


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At Home Beach Crafts

Make a Paper Plate Sun and Pipecleaner Windcatcher  

Beach Activities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Make a Salt Painting

Beach activities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Make a Beach in a Bottle

beach_in_a_bottle_vid[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Sand Clay Handprint Keepsake

Sand Art[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

At Home Beach Books

Sand, Sea, Me! by Patricia Hubbell

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]sand_sea_and_me[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]commotion[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Good Night, Beach by Adam Gamble[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]good_night_beach[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]At the Beach by Anne Rockwell[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]at-the-beach[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

At Home Beach Music – Dance, Sing, and Play Along!

All albums are downloadable from play.Kindermusik.com

1, 2, 3 Octopus & Me

Music Makes My Day

Get Up & Move

The next time you need a little something to keep a little someone occupied, pull out one of these ideas and head to the beach – even if it’s just in your imagination!


[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Ideas shared by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina, where she’s not too far from the beach![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How to Keep the Daily Rhythms and Routines that Matter to Your Child

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here in the States, summer is almost here, and with it often comes changes to our normal routines.  As adults, we adapt to the break and look forward to a change of pace – a different kind of busy.  But a change in routine can be very unsettling to young children who not only need the security and predictability of routines, but actually thrive physically, emotionally, and cognitively on those routines.  

 

Whereas we as adults are driven by our clocks and calendars, the day is defined by routines for young children.  Deviate too much from those routines and you can potentially end up dealing with fussiness, whining, or tantrums.  The reality is that life is unpredictable at times, so teaching our kids how to adapt and be flexible is a valuable life skill.  So how can we keep some consistency in those routines that are so necessary to small children?

 

Start and end your day the same way

Keeping your morning and evening routines makes what happens in between a little easier for your young child.  Even the smallest things like the order in which you get ready in the morning or the way you always read together before bed will be very comforting.

Keep that favorite toy or book handy 

Children find security in what’s familiar.  It’s why some kids really latch on to a certain stuffed animal or blankie.  So tuck that favorite toy or book in your bag when you’re on the go, and offer it to your child when you sense he’s needing a little distraction.

 

Lean into the changes

If you know that your summer is going to be different for the next several months, create some new routines – and then stick to them.  What’s hardest for children is not knowing what’s happening next because the next day is always different.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Rhythm[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Talk through what’s coming up

This is especially helpful for older toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids who are beginning to be old enough to understand and flex better with change.  Surprises can be unsettling, so simply taking a few minutes to let them know what to expect will go a long way towards making day go much more smoothly for everyone.

 

Infuse your day with music

 Sing your child’s favorite song as you load up in the car, turn on that beloved Kindermusik CD as you travel, or play that favorite lullaby playlist before bed.  It’s all about finding ways to include the familiar even when there has to be a change in the normal routine.  A simple thing like playing or singing some favorite songs can make all the difference in how the day goes.

 

Stay enrolled in some of your regular activities – like Kindermusik class!  

Anchoring your week with a beloved and familiar outing goes a long way in your child being able to adjust better to other changes.  Children mark time by their predictable activities – precisely the reason why Kindermusik educators regularly have parents share that their child wakes up asking, “Is today my Kindermusik day?”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Life is full of surprises, yes, and often the day’s activities are somewhat out of our control.  But the goal with young children is to control what we can, keep whatever routines we can, and add in the touches of the favorite and familiar to give a sense of comfort and predictability wherever possible.  And our best tip??  Music makes everything better – all day, any day, every day.

 


Shared by Theresa Case, whose favorite part of the week is when she’s enjoying her Kindermusik teaching routine in her award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.   [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

7 Tips for Making Every Day a Musical Day

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Any parent who’s been attending Kindermusik classes for even a short period of time quickly realizes just how enjoyable and powerful singing, dancing, playing, exploring, and making music can be – not just for their child, but also for them!  It’s no surprise then, that Kindermusik Educators are often asked for ideas about how to include more music into daily routines at home during the week in between classes.  With nearly 40 years of research and wisdom backing us, we’re always thrilled to share some ideas.  Here are a few of those best ideas compiled here for you!


Tip #1 – Sing, sing, sing!  

The most beautiful sound in the world to your child is your voice, whether you think anyone else would agree or not.  Over time, you’ll have an entire repertoire from your Kindermusik classes, and you’ll even get skilled at making up your own words for a new verse or two!

 

Tip # 2 – Keep the music playing

Create playlists or simply let the music stream – in the playroom, in the car, before naps, and before bedtime.  It’s really amazing to watch as your child starts to tune in to sounds of instruments (even naming them!), hums or sings along, breaks out into a spontaneous happy dance, or develops strong opinions about favorite types of music.

 

Tip # 3 – Start a collection of musical instruments 

One of our Baby Bags!
One of our Baby Bags!

Start off with the basics – egg shakers, bells, and drums – then add other age-appropriate instruments along the way.  We recommend keeping your instruments separate from your toys, so that even from an early age, children are learning how to listen, handle, and explore the instruments with focus, care, and creativity.  With you there to support and engage, exploring instruments is an especially delightful learning and play activity.

 

Tip #4 – Make your own homemade instruments

This is a fun, rainy day activity that will keep your child occupied, both as you are making the instrument together and later, as he enjoys exploring and playing with the instrument.  Two simple ideas to get you started are making homemade ankle bells or even a homemade guiro.

 

Tip #5 – Use a favorite lullaby to calm and soothe

Many parents tell us that there are one or two of our Quiet Time lullabies that really touch them and their children.  Learn the words so you can sing those lullabies at home, whether at those times when your child needs a calming moment, a close cuddle, or back rub and song while she falls asleep.

 

Tip #6 – Enjoy a little impromptu dance party

Tears quickly turn into giggles and smiles as you waltz and twirl around the room together, either to a song you hum or a favorite recording from Kindermusik class.  The type of music you choose can fit the need of the moment.  For example, if your child is fussy and needing your attention, cuddle up for a gentle waltz.  If your little one is bouncing off the walls, go for a lively jig.  

 

Tip #7 – Make the most of your Kindermusik Home Materials

Chock-full of ideas and inspiration for you and engaging musical play for your child, your Kindermusik Home Materials are one of your best go-to resources not only for enhancing your overall Kindermusik experience, but for providing hours of learning, engagement, and interactive play at home during the week.

 

These are simple ideas that are oh-so-easy to incorporate either spontaneously or as a planned part of your child’s day.  Without a doubt, music really can make your “everyday” moments a little happier, a little sweeter, and a little easier!


 

Shared by Theresa Case whose award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina has been bringing joy to families for over 20 years now.

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Mother’s Day Music Activities

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s nearly here! The day we set aside to celebrate mothers and all they do for us. Whether you celebrate by serving up breakfast in bed or making a coupon book for “free hugs,” we all know she’ll love whatever it is you do as long as it’s overflowing with love.Speaking of hugs…

One Mother’s Day, my boys and I cooked up a special gift. We bought a sweater – a simple sweater in a color we knew their mom would love. We then took a picture of the boys hugging the sweater, wrote a little poem, and boxed everything up. The idea was this – anytime my wife wore the sweater she’d be constantly receiving hugs from our boys. It was a big hit!

Mother's Day hug sweater
Our boys and the “Hug Sweater.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]That idea is free to the world – but this is a music blog, right? How can we celebrate our mothers in a musical way?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Write a Song!

You don’t need to be a professional musician to write song! Music belongs to everyone! The easiest way to start is picking an existing tune and writing new personal lyrics. Hey – if Weird Al can do it, so can you! Remember, the thought behind the action means so much to Mom! And the simpler the tune, the easier it will be for the little ones to sing along? How about this to the tune of Frère Jacques:

Mom we love you!
Mom we love you!
You’re the best!
Your’e the best!
Thank you for your kisses
Now we’ll do the dishes
After lunch!
After lunch!

It’s silly but singable. You can do it, too! Have fun, be creative, and tell her how you feel![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Make a Mix CD for the Car!

Remember when we were kids? The sweetest thing you could do for someone you liked was to make a mix tape. Well – tapes are pretty much a thing of the past, but we can still make a mix CD…or even a playlist. Find Mom’s most favorite tunes and create a personalized album. You could even create a custom insert for the jewel case with pictures of the little ones. What about adding little recorded messages from the kids between each track – simple things like “Mommy, I love you!” or “Thanks for tucking me in at night!”

A custom CD or playlist complete with little audio notes of love from the kids will be a big hit![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Music and Movement – a Mother’s Day Dance Off!

After the aforementioned breakfast in bed, how about finding some great music – maybe even some Kindermusik tunes – and have a family dance off! Everybody could take part or perhaps Mom can serve a judge and decide who has the best moves. Here are some crazy ideas:

  1. Who can dance like their favorite animal the best?
  2. Who can dance with only their face?
  3. Can you only dance with your legs and not move your upper body?
  4. Who can dance the longest without smiling?

I bet you can come up with your own fun variations on the dance off theme. Get those bodies moving to music as a family![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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Dance Off!

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Dinner Time Opera

We’ve done this before. While you’re eating, when you’d normally have wonderful family conversation, sing instead of talking! This is easier than it sounds. Think about Will Ferrell in Elf...everyone can sing. If you can speak, you can make up a tune for that sentence. Believe me, it’s a woot. You’ll have a hard time not giggling as your conversation and melodic speaking develops.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Eto6DU_2oI”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]However you celebrate Mom, the most important part is time together. She’ll love whatever you do if it’s done from the heart. Have fun infusing music into the day…and if you do Dinner Time Opera, record it. We’d love to include a video or two in a future post!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there from the Kindermusik family![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Best Music Apps for Kids

Kindermusik App - Music App for Kids

There are A LOT of music apps out there! A simple search in either the Google Play Store or the Apple Store returns a host of results. Don’t worry…we’ve sifted through the chaff to find the gems.

Remember, screen time can be beneficial when monitored, and it’s even more worthwhile when you spend time with your little ones as they explore these apps. After all, quality time with you is what they really want.

Continue reading “Best Music Apps for Kids”

5 Creative DIYs to Transform Playtime at Home

Kids with great imaginations and boundless creativity may test your patience at times, but they are the ones with the brightest futures – the ones most likely to invent something fantastic or solve one of the world’s biggest problems.  And they are great problem solvers!

It’s in the early years that we adults have the greatest opportunity to support and foster imagination and creativity in a child.  That’s one of the things we Kindermusik educators love about Kindermusik – it’s all about being creative, thinking outside the box, and using our imaginations as the children learn about music and explore making music in all kinds of ways.

Continue reading “5 Creative DIYs to Transform Playtime at Home”

First Day of Spring Activities for Families

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Some parts of the world are enjoying balmy temperatures right now. Others are digging out from snowstorms and wishing they could enjoy balmy temperatures sooner rather than later. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re approaching a momentous day – the first day of Spring! And we’re here to help you celebrate in an easy, family-friendly, happy, memorable kind of way. (After all, that’s what we celebrate about kids and parents in our Kindermusik classes every week!)


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Read a book

You probably read with your child nearly every day, sometimes multiple times a day. And we bet you can even recite, word for word, a few of your child’s most beloved books that you have read over and over again. But you can still make this day and the event of reading a book together by reading something new about Spring. Here are a few of our favorite Spring-themed titles:

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
The Listening Walk by Paul Showers and Aliki
Listen to the Rain by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and James Endicott[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

After you Read the Book, Go on your Own “Listening Walk”

This is a delightful activity that will become a fast favorite… and get you outside for a little healthy exercise and special together time.

Make – and Sail – a Miniature Boat

These cork boats and walnut boats are just adorable – so fun to make and even more fun to “sail” in the sink, in a puddle, or in a creek.

Plant a Seed

If you don’t have a green thumb, or it’s been awhile since you tried planting anything, here’s a super short, super easy, video to inspire you. There’s nothing more fascinating than watching something grow![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL9aRtkSMZw”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Download and Learn Kindermusik’s “The Growing Song” Together

There’s nothing better than bonding together over learning and singing a new song together. Here’s a sweet little song that you can download and add to your repertoire – and your playlist.

Make a Springtime Wreath

Grandma will love this for her front door! Watch the 30-second video tutorial for this adorable little craft that’s perfect for even younger children to make.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SN5GJm-jIg”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Plan a Picnic – in the Backyard or at a Park

You can really turn this into an “event” by enjoying planning the picnic with your child as much as actually going on the picnic (you’ll find some really fantastic picnic ideas here). Turn it into a play date by inviting a few friends.


 

Celebrating the little moments is what childhood is all about. And a little simple celebration, sharing some special moments together, will go a long way towards helping your child blossom into a happy, confident, creative individual.

Shared by Theresa Case, owner of Kindermusik at Piano Central Studios in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina, where Springtime is always beautiful![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Sing and Dance that Stress Away

Music and movement stress

Stress. We all deal with it from time to time….and friends, so do our kids. Don’t forget – we have a lifetime of experience in managing stress – and even then we can have a hard time with it. Our kids deal with stress, too…and they are stress novices. It’s up to us to help them develop the skills and methods to cope with stress in their young lives. As it turns out, and this is in no way by accident, music and movement, the very things at which we are experts, are fantastic ways to alleviate stress. Science lights the way. Let’s check it out!

Continue reading “Sing and Dance that Stress Away”