Three Easy Ways to Beat Cabin Fever with Music

Two kids looking closely at sticks outside

Simple musical activities to use at home with your kids.

Music is fun, engaging and can motivate even the most stir-crazy kids.  You don’t have to have any musical training or experience to use these three, easy ideas to beat cabin fever at your house!

Activity 1: Use music for transitions – like putting on a swimsuit and sunscreen.

Use music to structure daily activities and give directions so your transitions are peaceful and fun! This activity engages your baby and child to help develop impulse control and self-regulation and calm those stressful times.

How to do it:
Select a familiar melody and substitute traditional lyrics with simple instructions. For example, sing the following to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star while putting on sunscreen, changing a diaper or wrangling a wiggly toddler into a swimsuit!

It’s time to get your swimsuit so we can go outside to play. One leg in, and another, sunscreen on your toes and nose. It’s time to put your swimsuit on so we can go outside to SPLASH! (sung to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

If your child needs more time to complete the task, simply repeat the last line. Don’t worry about rhyming or words. It is okay to simply repeat “It’s time to Put your Swimsuit on” multiple times.

Activity 2: Create a sound lab with found object instruments from the great outdoors!

Sound labs use found objects to create unique instruments and give your kids a chance to blow off steam while making music. This activity encourages analytic skills, creativity, and sound discrimination.

How to do it:
Find objects in your backyard or neighborhood to make music! Find a wide variety of objects such as rocks, sticks, leaves, you name it. Ask your kids how that object might be used as an instrument.  Do they make loud sounds or quiet sounds, scratchy or smooth sounds?   Tip: To add another level of excitement, play along to your favorite songs or go on a walk marching, and playing like a marching band!

Activity 3: Compose a soundtrack or back beat for a favorite storybook. 

Compose your own simple soundtrack to reinforce pre-literacy skills such as identifying parts of a story, sequencing, and language development by adding a steady beat with your own body percussion or found sounds.

How to do it:
Select a favorite book. Start with a steady beat to make the story musical and engaging for all ages. If your child is ready- Read a page or two and then ask your child to make sounds that go along with the narrative. For example, if a character is walking through the woods, say, “Make the sounds of Little Red Riding Hood’s footsteps.” Establish a cue to stop the sound. Easy, common sounds include anything weather-related (wind, rain), animal sounds or even moving vehicles (trains, airplanes). Modify or extend the activity to include the use of your Sound Lab (see above).

Give Your Child the Best Start in Music

Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® online early childhood music classes provide children 6 weeks – 8 years the chance to explore musical concepts through fun songs, instrument exploration, drama, stories, art and creative movement.  With more than 40 years of experience, MacPhail is the leader in providing high-quality, developmentally appropriate music classes. Learn more!

Young child outside playing with a stick and standing in a puddle
Published on Date: Mar 30, 2021
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