Babies will drum on different materials to explore their sounds.
Learning Area(s): Language and Communication; Physical Development
- Items to use as drumsticks: child’s spoon, plastic spoon, wooden spoon, etc.
- Items to use as drums: bowls, pots, or pans of different sizes and materials (e.g., wooden bowl, plastic tupperware-style container, metal pot, pie pan)
- Optional materials to make your own drums: three or four plastic tupperware-type bowls and materials to drum on (e.g., aluminum foil, wrapping paper, newspaper, wax paper)
Turn the bowls, pots, or pans over so the opening is facing down. By using “drums” that are different sizes and made from different materials, your baby has multiple drums with different sounds to choose from.
Either in a highchair or on the floor, show your baby the different drums. As you show her each drum, tell her what the object is, for example, “Let’s turn this wooden bowl over to make a drum! This one is a metal pot, let’s see how it sounds!” Using a “drumstick,” show her how to drum to hear the different sounds each drum makes. Then give her the drumstick to practice drumming and exploring with the different sounds. You may have to help her get started by using your hand to guide her hand in the drumming movement. While she drums, talk about the different materials and use words and actions such as quiet, loud, fast, and slow. Once she understands, let her loose to create her own music with the drums!
- Allow younger babies to sit in a high chair for extra support while drumming on items.
- If you don’t have a variety of plastic, metal, and/or wooden bowls or pots, create your own drums by using three or four plastic tupperware-type bowls instead. Place a different type of material over the opening of each bowl, like aluminum foil, wrapping paper, newspaper, or wax paper. Use tape around the mouth of the bowl to keep the material securely attached on top. Be sure to double or even triple layer your materials (especially the wrapping paper and newspaper) so that they do not rip when your baby is drumming. By placing one type of material on each bowl, your baby has multiple drums to choose from! Supervise closely to make sure the materials do not tear, end up with sharp edges, or end up in your child’s mouth.
- To go a little further, show your baby how to beat out a rhythm to a song you both enjoy. Then let her explore the drums while you sing along.