Music activities for children

Are the kids missing Holiday Academy?  Here are some fun music workshop ideas for children to try at home.

From marching around the house to making music pictures, these music activities for children are quick and easy.  If they really want to dive into music then why not book them a place at Holiday Academy next school holiday?  Our London holiday camps feature amazing music workshops as well as drama, sport, and dance.

Musical activities for young children: practise listening
You don’t need any equipment to play this simple listening game.  It works with one or a dozen children.  The leader taps out a beat or pattern and then everybody mimics it.  You could be tapping spoons on the table, clapping or stamping; the challenge for young children is to listen carefully to the pattern and echo it.   Increase the complexity as they master the simple patterns.  TIP: Listening games will help children to develop their speech, too.

Listening with a different part of the brain can be interesting, too.  This works best at home when your child is in a quiet mood!  Turn on Classic FM or choose a piece of music with no words.  Then sit with your child and talk about what the music makes you think of.  A bear hiding in the woods?  A mouse trying to sneak past a cat?  A sad girl in an attic?  Everyone can play this.  You can also ask your child to draw what they think is happening in the music.

Pick up a Uke
A ukulele is child-sized, with only four strings, and it’s fun for parents too – you can buy one for £30 (we recently had a Tub-up workshop at Holiday Academy, where the children made their own ukes with margarine tubs!).  This will require a bit of Youtubing while you work your way through the chords but you’ll soon be playing a simple, or even fairly impressive, song – ‘Count on Me’ by Bruno Mars only needs six chords.  Other musical instruments to try (even if you are completely unmusical): Harmonica, Bongo, Tambourine, Shakers. 

Music activities for children without instruments…
Children don’t need instruments to make their first musical compositions.  Body percussion is a brilliant skill that we sometimes introduce to the children in our music workshops at Holiday Academy.  If you haven’t heard of it before then check out Anna Meredith’s Connect It – performed by kids – over on the BBC website.  It might give you some ideas for making music at home.  Body percussion sounds amazing when people are in sync and encourages creativity as you invent notes and patterns. 

More music activities for children to try
Keeping rhythm is a surprisingly important skill.  Did you know that ‘Interactive Metronome’ therapy is sometimes recommended to children with learning difficulties?  The ability to focus on keeping a beat is said to improve neurological function.  That may be true but we also know that rhythm is the foundation for music.  So keeping a beat is a good habit to learn.  Set up saucepan drums, or march to your favourite song – any activity involving a regular rhythm will help to embed the principle into your child’s brain!  We mums may not want to wrestle with the children, but flossing is definitely not beyond us.  When your child is ready for a challenge (8+), look up the Cups Song on Youtube.  It’s a timing and coordination exercise that’s also loads of fun.

More music workshop ideas for children at Holiday Academy London
At our multi-activity holiday camps in London, we run a music workshop (for children from 3 years upwards) every morning; sometimes musicians come in and sometimes it’s our in-house vocal coach, Lisa Panther.  It’s the perfect activity to harness that early energy and get the brain cogs moving!  If you have music workshop ideas or your children have a particular interest, then send us an email and we’ll see what we can do!   *Holiday Academy is a multi-activity holiday camp in London running every school holiday.