With our local school year completed, many in my community are thinking of summer.  Some of my best memories as a child are of summer evenings playing games and having fun with my parents and siblings in our yard.

I love injecting some creative music making into a child’s experiences! So prepare for smiles on your face and a child’s as you try out a few of these ideas.

  • Singing: Share favorite songs from your childhood. While you may not be a singing sensation, your voice is a free gift you can share. And you can also sing-along with recordings.  A wonderful source for older tunes can be “Disney’s Sing-along Songs” – many of which may be available at your local library.
  • Attend a free community music event: Many communities have free concerts in the summer months. Look for community concert bands, groups in concert at an event, or on parade. The great part about free is you can leave without feeling like you haven’t gotten your moneys worth if your child becomes restless. And, it can be a place to begin to teach concert etiquette.
  • Freeze dancing: Put a CD in a player. Take turns moving when the music plays & freezing your position when the music stops. Children enjoy getting to be in control with simple games like this.
  • Make kazoos & march: Check out my post “Celebrate National Kazoo Day” & the link for directions to make you own kazoo. Hum a tune & march around the house, the yard, the neighborhood.
  • Water-glass/container chimes:For young children, place a little water into an old pot or pan. Get the water swirling a bit and use a metal spoon to strike the underside of the pot.  For those age five and older and only with adult supervision you can try this second version. Gather some empty glass containers or water glasses, a couple large metal spoons, and a pitcher of water. (You can even put a couple drops of food coloring in the water to make it easier to see.) My recommendation is to do this activity in the yard. Pour water into the glasses. Gently tap the glass on the outside to hear the pitch/sound. Change the amount of water to make a different pitch. See if you can play tunes with your water container creation. When your done, use the water to water a plant in the yard.
  • Homemade Wind Chimes: Gather a hanger, yarn or crochet thread, and various objects like old silverware, dried sticks, plastic tubes. Tie one end on the hanger and the other to the object with the yarn or thread. Hand several objects so they will touch when moved by the wind, your breath or your hand. See what sounds you can create.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with these activities. If you have photos of the fun, all the better.

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