Looking for fun music activities for kindergarteners? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out these music activities for kids to try at home or in school. Basic music knowledge and engagement is highly beneficial for kids of all ages, but today, we’re focusing on the 4-6 age range.
Below, we’ll go over some of the best music activities for kindergarteners that your little maestro is sure to love. Each of these activities can be traced back to a critical skill that will undoubtedly nurture growing minds.
What Skills Should Kindergarteners Be Focusing On?
In order to determine the best music activities for kindergarteners, it’s important to understand the age group’s main developmental focus is.
Kindergarten is a critical year for children where the focus is primarily on building fine motor skills and developing a deeper understanding of their feelings and how they relate to others. Music can help developing minds cultivate these skills in a fun, approachable setting that they’re sure to love.
These critical years help kindergarteners to express themselves outwardly, which pairs well with the nature of music. Children are also continuing to develop their vocabulary and sense of timing during ages 4-6, so rhythm lessons and song memorization is a helpful tool.
All in all, playing or listening to music is fun! Introducing kids to music throughout the day will feel like a nice break from more academic activities— Little will your kindergarteners know, they’re still learning loads throughout their musical play session!
Fun Music Activities For Kindergarteners
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite music activities for children ages 4-6. Be sure to try out a variety of these activities to find the best option for your kindergartener. They may lean more toward rhythm-based activities than melodic ones or vice versa. Regardless, remember to have lots of fun!
1. Clap Back!
To play this game, clap your hands to a simple pattern of 3 to 5 beats. Have the kindergartener clap the beat back to you. This will work on the kid’s developing fine motor skills, memory, and sense of rhythm. You can also take turns with who is coming up with the patterns. As your co-player becomes more accustomed to the game, you can add in more complex rhythms. For more spontaneous rhythm practice, simply put on your kindergartener’s favorite song and show them how to clap to the beat.
2. Freeze Dance
This fun game gets everyone moving and helps your child or students become more responsive and in tune (pun intended) with their environment. Put on some tunes and have everyone dance their heart out until you stop the music at an unexpected time. When the music stops, everyone must freeze into a funny pose. Anyone who’s still moving after the music “freezes” is out until the next round. Play until you have a freeze dance champion!
3. Draw The Music
Around this age, kindergarteners are building up their fine motor skills and starting to explore their thoughts and feelings at a deeper level. In this music activity for kids, put on some relaxing instrumental music. Get out some fun crayons and color pencils and challenge your kids to draw what they are feeling or hearing.
If they’re having trouble getting started, lead by example. For instance, if a song is fast, maybe you’re using shorter strokes. For a happy song, maybe you’ll use brighter colors like yellow or pink. There isn’t a right or wrong with this game, simply let your kindergartener explore their imagination. This is also a great way to help kindergarteners wind down after a burst of activity.
4. Nursery Rhymes
Have some fun by teaching kindergarteners some classic nursery rhymes, preferably those that include hand movements. Some great ones to try are “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”, or “Miss Mary Mack”. There are tons of fun tutorials for movement ideas on YouTube, or you can make up your own with your kindergarteners. This will help build the kids’ fine motor skills and help them focus on completing two different actions at the same time. Your kindergarteners will love sharing these fun songs and dances with their friends.
5. Make Your Own Instruments!
Ready to turn trash into tunes? Challenge your kindergarteners to make their own instruments using recycled materials. You can turn an old coffee can or milk jug into a shaker with the help of some beans, or get a bit more crafty with these rubber band guitars. This is also an excellent time to teach the importance of recycling and challenge kids to see things in a different way. Anything can be an instrument if you’re creative enough.
Give your kids or students a chance to decorate their instruments before putting on their very own concert with their newfound noisemakers.
6. Kitchen Remix
If your kindergartener is more of a percussionist, break out the pots and pans in the kitchen. Use wooden spoons and spatulas as mallets and voila! Your musical munchkin is good to go. Be sure to point out how striking the pots and pans at different points produces different sounds. You can also have your kindergartener repeat a pattern after you’ve played it to build their memory and focus.
This is a classic musical activity that your kindergartener might already do on their own. Simply singing along to a favorite song can help a developing mind learn about rhyme schemes, expand their vocabulary, and even help with emotional intelligence. Modern platforms like Youtube and Spotify have a ton of free kid-friendly music playlists so that you can quickly find vetted songs to keep your kindergartener engaged.
If your little musician loves to sing, challenge them to put on a little concert for a small group of family and friends. This can help build your kindergartener’s confidence, and encourage him or her to explore their individual interests.
Should your singer need a break, you can clap to the music instead to help develop a sense of rhythm.
8. Become The Conductor
A great way to teach kindergarteners about the concept of dynamics is to let them become mini conductors. Pick a familiar classical song, such as the “The Flight Of The Bumblebee”. Show your mini maestro how you make bigger hand movements as the song gets louder, and smaller movements to convey a decrescendo or lower dynamics. It certainly doesn’t have to be perfect— This simple activity will help your kindergarteners start to intertwine sound with movement, which is a great foundation for any budding instrumentalists.
9. Which Instrument Is Which?
This game helps your child start associating certain sounds with tangible concepts and instruments. To play, start by showing your kindergartener the different instruments of the orchestra. You can use a video like this one. Give your child time to listen and memorize the different sounds of each instrument. As they begin to familiarize themselves with each sound, you can turn it into a fun, productive game.
Play individual sounds of each instrument or use a pre-made video. Have your child guess each instrument before revealing the true source of the sound.
10. Moody Music
Find a collection of kid-friendly songs, each with a different feeling associated with it. Before playing the song, let your child know what the song represents: Maybe a slow song is associated with sadness, or a warm song is about love or care. Challenge your kindergartener to dance according to the mood of the music. This will help your developing dancer cultivate a deeper understanding of emotions and how to express them.
This classic game helps build your music lover’s balance and shows kindergarteners the importance of taking turns if it’s played in a classroom setting. You don’t have to have a professional limbo pole either— A broom or yardstick will do just fine. Just make sure your little one proceeds slowly and safely to avoid injury.
12. Introduction To Instruments
If you have any instruments at home, slowly introduce them to your kindergartener. Explain the importance of upkeeping the instrument and how the sound is produced. For example, if you have a guitar, you could show your kindergartener how to softly strum the strings. Furthermore, you could point out that the thicker strings sound lower than the thinner strings. This will help your budding musician start to get a tangible feel on how music works.
13. Dance Party!
Sometimes, you just have to dance. Put on some of your kid’s favorite songs and get groovy. There isn’t a right or wrong way to dance— Just have fun with it! This can help build your kid’s confidence and it will also get them active while indoors. For a little added pizzazz, you can dress up in fun costumes.
Hopefully, some of these music activities for kindergarteners spark some fun jam sessions for you and your budding musician. Even just 15-minutes a day of guided musical playtime can help your kindergartener develop a foundational understanding of rhythm and melody that’ll be invaluable in the future. Happy jamming!