Tag Archives: musical instruments for toddlers

Serious Singer Girl {& A Favourite New Etsy Shop}

IMG 7795IMG 7804IMG 7808IMG 7798Oh. my. goodness. Does our little lady ever love to sing!  For the last few weeks, she’s been grabbing wooden blocks, carrots, and whatever else she can find to use as stand-in microphones for performances of ‘We Are Young’, ‘This Girl is on Fire’, ‘Trouble’, and other favourites.  The thing is, she’s very serious about it all.  She has to be in a certain spot, she has to have a microphone of some sort, and it has to be a song she knows well. Her vocals are accompanied by emotion, hand gestures, and dance moves that prove she’s been studying the artists closely while watching their music videos.

In light of her new love for singing, I decided to get her a microphone and knew Etsy would be the place to go.  Sure enough, after a quick search, I found the perfect one… Handcrafted and made of wood, finished with natural oils only, simplistic, and requiring zero batteries. My kind of toy.  I put the order through, received a shipping notification within 2 days, and it arrived quickly.  Plus it’s absolutely beautiful… Doesn’t get much better than that.  I’d highly recommend checking out the shop it came from (Wee Woodworks) online.  Their animal-shaped percussion instruments are ridiculously cute too. 


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Impromptu Drum Circle

Household Object Drum CircleToday as I was organizing the mess of mason jars in our hallway catchall closet, my curious Miss G spied some old wine gift tubes in the bottom.  Naturally, she yanked them out and began drumming on them.

IMG 5665Before long, we’d yanked out all kinds of pots, containers, and bowls out and created an impromptu drum circle for the budding musician in our family.

IMG 5669Maracas, rhythm sticks, wooden spoons, a xylophone, and background music were added in along the way too.

IMG 5667Perhaps not the most neighbour-friendly activity if you live in a small apartment or have basement tenants below you (ours weren’t home), but great fun for a rainy day.

Here’s our little musician jamming out…


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Music-Themed Toddler Tray

After completing  bongo/shaker/güiro project this morning, Miss G and I quickly put together a drum (using a leftover Christmas tin and the same process as we did for our 3-in-1 instrument, minus the lentils/rice), and collected some of the instruments we had around the house to create this music-themed toddler tray. 

IMG 8178Besides the homemade instruments, her xylophone, jingle bells, train whistle, rhythm sticks, egg shakers, and a couple of spoons were included.

With a playlist of her favourite songs playing from the iPod dock in her bedroom, we had a little jam session and gave each of the instruments a shot.

IMG 8183IMG 8204While this wasn’t a sensory station she stayed engaged in for long periods of time, we left it out all day, music on, and she came back to it again and again, shaking or tapping her heart out for a couple of minutes at a time. 

It’ll definitely be something we leave out for the next little while too. I’m looking forward to more musical moments in the days to come… (Hopefully all of which are as passionate as the one in the last photo. ☺)

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Bongo, Shaker, Güiro All in One

Now, if you know me well, you know I’m not crazy about toys.  I’m not saying that I dislike all toys, but the more modern toys that you most often see lining the shelves of big name toy stores? They’re not my favourite. The flashing, blinking, noise making, spinning, beeping, moving, battery operated plastic contraptions of today just seem like such an assault on the senses to me.  That, and I guess I just don’t feel like they inspire creative, open-ended imaginative play.   

Toys I do love are the more classic ones…  The things we grew up with as kids and the things I love filling the shelves of my Kindergarten classes with…  Building blocks, felt puppets, wooden puzzles, dress-up clothes, and art supplies.  Besides those, I don’t think a child can ever have a library of books too vast or a collection of instruments too large. 

On the topic of musical instruments, I’ve bumped into this gorgeous blog several times before, but only had time to properly sift through the posts late last night {from midnight to one a.m. while I should have been sleeping, of course}.  The author has beautifully presented ideas that are simple, eco-friendly, and often music-based.  Before calling it a night, I pinned several of her ideas on my Toddler Activities board, one of which was this idea for making a balloon bongo, rice shaker, and güiro all in one.

Already having everything on hand, Gracen and I whipped up a couple this morning.

IMG 8150Here’s our collection of supplies… A couple of tin cans from the recycling bin, thick elastic bands, balloons, some wool, a pair of scissors, chopsticks, and a couple of little bowls filled with pantry goodies (Grae chose red lentils and sushi rice).

IMG 8155First of all, make sure your tins cans have been opened with can opener that leaves the edges smooth rather than sharp.  Then, put your lentils/rice/beans/couscous/pasta inside.

IMG 8156You can fill your cans as much as you like, but we filled ours about 1/6 of the way.

IMG 8158Next, snip the ends off of your balloons.

IMG 8159Then stretch the balloons over the tops of your cans. Be sure to make them tight.

IMG 8161Although the balloons stay on quite nicely on their own, secure them with a thick elastic just to be sure. No one wants a lentil explosion all over their floor.

IMG 8162If desired, cover the elastics with some wool, baker’s twine, jute, or embroidery floss.

IMG 8168Now make some music!  You can shake them…

IMG 8170Pat them…

IMG 8174Or tap them. The chop sticks can also be used to rub along the ridged sides of the can, producing a ratchet-like sound.

Happy music making!

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