14 Fun Music Activities For Preschoolers And Toddlers

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At Studio Director, we help thousands of music studios run their day-to-day business tasks. Whether you need help with enrollment, tuition, or even marketing, our music studio management software can do it all. Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite ideas for music activities for preschoolers and toddlers to add to your lesson plans. And, for parents of kids ages two to five who have found this post, these music and movement activities are great for at-home practice, events, and much more.

3 Online Music Activities For Preschoolers

Remote learning is a great way to reach new students and provide flexibility for kids and teachers alike. Children love exploring through technology, which makes online music activities for preschoolers a great option. If you’re teaching music remotely, encourage your youngest students to find their love for music with these online activities.  

1. Musical paintings

This activity can be done one-on-one or as a group on video conferencing platforms like Zoom. Your students will need a white sheet of paper and a simple watercolor set with a paintbrush, or even markers. Play classical music and give them a few minutes to paint whatever comes to mind. Next, turn on a playlist of songs from various genres and ask your kids to draw or paint what they hear. This is a great group activity because it’s fun to see how each student interprets the same piece of music and how they react to different genres. Give your students time to show and tell with their pieces of the artwork after. This activity provides students a chance to explore their understanding for and appreciation of music while linking to a creative movement exercise.

2. Instrument matching

Learning the unique sound each instrument makes should be an important part of preschool music activities lesson plans. Before this online class, supply your students with photos of instruments. During the class, play tracks of these instruments and ask them to hold up the photo of each instrument they hear.

3. Practice through apps

Practice makes perfect! When it comes to music activities for preschoolers, practice in the form of a game can help. Some of the best apps for music teachers combine music education and video games to solidify important concepts.

5 Fun Music Activities For Preschoolers

Are you searching for interesting ways to diversify your music lesson plans? Here are a few fun activities that will encourage creativity and inspire your kids to embrace music. Even better, most of these music activities for preschoolers can easily be adapted for online or at-home practice if necessary.

4. Play ‘name that tune’

This game is fun for both kids and adults! Play a small snippet of popular songs and see who can ‘name that tune.’ Start with simple music they should know instantly to encourage more smiles. For online play, ask students to create a homemade flag to hold up when they want to take a turn guessing!

5. Put on a talent show

Whether you’re in the same room or on the same video call, you can easily put on a talent show! Give your kids a short time limit to bring out their favorite instruments, dance routines, and more. Even better? Little ones who tend to be shyer can use puppets or other props with their favorite songs if they prefer to avoid the spotlight.

6. Start a family (or classroom) band

Discuss the value of teamwork by starting a band among your children or students. Each person should have their own instrument to play or lines to sing. Explore with different beats to write a simple and short tune.

7. Glow stick drumming

Glow-in-the-dark activities are always a hit! Get your drums ready but hold the sticks. Use glow sticks instead and turn out the lights for a seriously fun sensory experience of sights and sounds for your young students.

8. DIY instruments

When you look closely, you’ll realize that nearly anything can be transformed into a musical instrument. From paper plate tambourines to milk jug shakers, DIY instruments are a blast. All you need is an assortment of household items, craft accessories, and a little creativity. Collect a bunch of different materials and ask your students to create whatever comes to mind.

3 Music And Movement Activities For Preschoolers

Music and movement go hand-in-hand. That’s why dance is considered such an incredible art form! For preschoolers especially, these activities can help them build their physical skills along with music appreciation. These are our favorite music and movement activities to inspire your students.

9. Freeze dance

This classic game is a favorite when it comes to music and movement activities. It’s easy, simple, and full of laughs. Get all of your students to dance like crazy as you push play and pause on the music. Anyone caught moving after the music stops is out until one winner remains!

10. Nursery rhyme choreography

From Hickory Dickory Dock to Mary Had A Little Lamb, there are so many nursery rhyme favorites. Teach your children these beloved classics and include basic sign language or choreography to make it interesting.

11. Prop dancing

Props can make dancing even more fun and creative. Use props like silk scarves, batons, or even cowboy hats. Designate a different prop for each song and watch how kids find new and exciting ways to explore movement to music.

3 Fun And Easy Music Activities For Toddlers

If you have a larger age range of students, you may need some activities that work for preschoolers and toddlers alike. Music activities that are set up specifically for toddlers should be even simple and straightforward. The goal is music exposure, and more importantly, having fun! Try out these options with your littlest ones.

12. Instrument petting zoo

Gather up every musical instrument you can find and lay them all out on a blanket or table. Remember, no instrument is too small! From guitars to shakers, children love to explore. Give them time to try each instrument, testing the sounds each one makes. For older students, ask them about their favorite instruments and why they liked them. This can encourage them to think more deeply about different types of instruments.

13. Explore sounds with water

Fill a few different glasses with varying amounts of water and use spoons to gently tap on each one. Your toddler will quickly realize that each one makes a different noise. For added visual stimulation, add a few drops of food coloring to each glass.

14. Play background music

There is no shortage of music for toddlers, especially songs that describe everyday chores. Whether you’re picking up toys or potty training, find opportunities to play songs about these subjects. In a daycare setting, bring in music that matches the mood with bright energetic music in the morning and sleepier turns before naptime. A little background music can make everything a bit brighter.

Important Things to Remember When Choosing Music Activities for Preschoolers

Music activities for preschoolers are a wonderful way to encourage creativity, teach children about rhythm, and develop motor skills. However, it’s important to remember a few key factors when learning how to teach music activities to kids, and ensuring these activities to ensure they are both fun and educational.
  • Age-Appropriate – Make sure the musical activities are suitable for young kids. Things like playing simple musical instruments, singing a fun song, or doing movement activities to background music are great for early childhood education.
  • Engage Motor Skills – Choose activities that engage both fine and gross motor skills. For instance, kids marching to the beat of the music helps with body control and coordination, while playing egg shakers or rhythm sticks can enhance fine motor skills.
  • Interactive and Fun – Activities like freeze dance, where children move until the music stops, make learning fun. Incorporating real-life elements, like using rubber bands and a box to create a makeshift guitar, can make the activity more engaging.
  • Educational – Music lessons can be a fun activity that is also educational. Teach children about different body parts through songs or use musical hide and seek to teach children about sounds and directions.
  • Creativity – Encourage creativity by letting children make their own instruments. For example, fill an empty container with rice or lentils to create a shaker. Add food coloring for extra fun!
  • Social Skills – Use music and movement during circle time in the preschool classroom to enhance social skills. Kids sing and play songs together, learning to cooperate and listen to one another.
  • Physical Skills – Incorporate physical skills into music activities. Feather dancing, where children try to keep a feather in the air while dancing to their favorite music, can help improve balance and coordination.
Choosing the right music activities for preschoolers can greatly contribute to a child’s development. With the right balance of fun and learning, music can become a cherished part of their daily routine.

Find More Time For Music Activity Lesson Plans

When it comes to running your music studio, you need creative time to focus on activities that set your studio apart. Don’t let administrative tasks distract from lesson planning and these other creative aspects of your business. At Studio Director, we’re your silent business partner working behind the scenes. We help automate your key administrative tasks, like registration, billing, and more, so you can focus on your studio. To learn how our software solution could help you, schedule a free 1:1 demo today.

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