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Summer Music Activities for Kids!

Summer is here! The kids are home! They have already eaten all the food and said they are bored out of their minds!  It hasn’t been a week yet! It’s either the time before camps start, before you embark on vacation, or before the babysitter is able to come and you’ve run out of ideas- well I am here to help with several Music Activities you can do with your kids this summer.

Cardboard guitar not assembled yet

1.  DIY Instrument Making Remember those maracas with plastic eggs or guitar box guitars? These projects are always really fun to figure out how to piece together and to jam out while singing your favorite songs. I love to refer to for instructions on building all kinds of instruments, from spin drums to bell bracelets. Not only are you creating an instrument, your child can work on fine motor and problem solving skills!

2.  Karaoke Night No, you don’t have bring your child to an arena full of strangers while trying to gather courage to sing in front of them as they stare. All you really need is access to YouTube, a large monitor, and microphones (i hear hairbrushes or wooden spoons work well) to have a blast. I often type in my favorite song with the word “karaoke” at the end for some non-stop fun (ex: search “Best Day of My Life Karaoke”, and endless videos appear).

3.  Reading Together This is an awesome way to work on music literacy and reading literacy during those calmer moments. Some of my favorite books that are based on music/have music elements are “Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane”, “Jazz Baby”, “Pete the Cat”, “I Got the Rhythm”, and “Wheels on the Bus (Raffi Songs to Read)”.

4.  Listening Walk Listening is a skill that I’m sure most everyone can continue working on. What better way that having a listening walk! This activity is awesome in evoking imaginative skills with your child, hearing what sounds occur in the world around them from day to day and how they can sound musical. The book “The Listening Walk” by Paul Showers can be an awesome reference.

5.  Jam Session Pull out those pots and pans from under the sink! It’s drumming time! Crank up your favorite tunes and go for it! See how many words your child can remember to each song or how they can make “instruments” out of household items. If you have an old instrument that you haven’t played in years, pull it out too! It’s not about how well you can still play, but about the ability to let loose and make music freely with your child.

6.  Draw to Music Sidewalk chalk, actual paint, color pencils, crayons, pencils and pens, it doesn’t matter. Add a variety of music genres and styles to flex that creative muscle and see if your child is able to tell a story to the music. I love implementing this with younger kids, having them tell me what story the song is telling (even if the song doesn’t have words.). Some of my go-to favorites are “Ride of the Valkyries”, “Flight of the Bumblebee”, “William Tell Overture”, “The Typewriter”, and “Rossini: Duetto buffo di due gatti (Cat Duet)”.

What are some creative activities that you do with your family during the summer? Which of these are you going to try at home? Don’t forget to leave your comment below!

Happy Music-Making!

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As a music therapist at the STAR Center, I have had the privilege of going to Jackson Christian School’s ABLE program. ABLE stands for “Achieve Beyond Limited Expectations.” This program provides tran


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