Music Activities

Music activites

Music on the Menu 11 

Activities for children and students with special needs can be found by opening the PDF file below and scrolling down

Music on the Menu 11 (.pdf file)

The Forest Sensory Resource Kit

The Forest Sensory Resource Kit

The Forest Sensory Resource Kit. Please see below links to to The Forest Sensory Resource Kit.

This compromises of 8 sessions of sensory activities all based around Frozen Light’s 2015 touring production of The Forest.

It can be also be accompanied by a powerpoint which includes music and photographs from the original production.

The Forest Sensory Resource Kit | Frozen Light

All That Jazz

Emotions Music to Dance and Move to

1. Happy                                         'Swedish Rhapsody' by Percy Faith

                                                       'Happy' by Pharrell Williams

                                                       'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' Israel 'IZ'



2. Sad                                             'Sad Songs' by The Christians


3. Peaceful                                      'The Aquarium' by Saint-Saens

                                                       'Morning' from Peer Gynt by Grieg


4. Cheerful, friendly                         'You've got a Friend in Me' by Randy Newman


5. Angry                                          'Carmina Burana' by Carl Orff

                                                       'No 3 Dance of the Knights' - from Romeo and

                                                        Juliet by Prokofiev


All of these can be found by searching on youtube. To be able to play each one quickly, just open each one in a new tab and you will have them all ready!

Musical Games

1. Make your own music


You will need:


Sheets of paper, or cardboard if you have it. Maybe cut up an empty box.

Coloured pens

How to play:

  1. Cut your sheets of paper or cardboard into squares - an A4 sheet cut into 12 works quite well.
  2. Draw symbols on each card to denote a sound that you are going to make as you, for example, sit at the table. For example, a hand means ‘clap’, a foot means ‘stomp your foot’, the outline of a table means ‘hit the table’, and a mouth means ‘shout’, or whatever sound you decide upon. Do several cards for each sound.
  3. Practice by pointing to just one symbol several times to allow your child to get the idea of responding to the symbol. Introduce the others gradually - or maybe limit the number of symbols according to what suits your child.
  4. Lay out a sequence of cards for them to play as you point to them.
  5. Take turns to make a 'tune' for each other to play.

Other ideas:

1. Use kitchen objects and implements, eg. a saucepan with a wooden spoon, a jar of rice to shake

    to make different sounds and draw the corresponding symbols.

2. Use percussion instruments made in activity A, again drawing the corresponding cards.


Compose for each other!


2. Yes/no game


This is a singing warm-up game.


You will need:

Space to play

How to play:

  1. The parent is the conductor who will sing the beginning of a familiar tune, in this example I am using Old MacDonald. Sing the first two lines and your child will repeat them.
  2. Parent sings the first line and the child continues with E-I-E-I-O.
  3. Then replace the words with 'Yes' and 'No' - so if you sing ' Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes' your child will have to sing the opposite which would be 'No, No, No, No, No'.
  4. Keep to the pattern of 'Yes' and 'No' for a bit then begin to vary it, starting your turn with either word.
  5. Encourage your child to lead.
  6. You can jumble the two words up, for example 'Yes, Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Yes, No’ - reply 'No, No, Yes, Yes, No.

It probably sounds complicated but once you and your child have got the hang of it, it can be quite good fun!


3. Musical hide and seek version 1

This musical hide and seek is played with objects and is an excellent tool to help the child improve his/her listening skills.

You will need:

  • A musical toy or device
  • Hiding places

How to play:

  1. The objective of the game is for the child to find the toy by listening to its music.
  2. Turn the toy’s music on and hide it somewhere the child can find.
  3. Keep hiding the toy and make it a little more complicated each time.

The more the child plays it, the better his/her listening skills get.

  4. Musical hide and seek version 2

You will need:

  • Chosen toy or object
  • Hiding places
  • One of your home made percussion instruments

How to play:

1. The objective of the game is for the child to learn about or practice loud and quiet sounds.

2. Hide the toy and ask the child to look for it. Using the selected instrument playing loudly

    When s/he is near to it and quietly when s/he is not, increasing or decreasing volume in


3. When you think that your child has understood how this works swap over.


5. What’s that sound?

You will need:

Instruments or kitchen implements from game 1

Cards from game 1


How to play:

  1. Lay out one card for each instrument or implement. For some, it might be better to start with a choice of two cards, then three and so on until you are using them all.
  2. Play the sounds of different instruments or implements first so that your child is familiar with them.
  3. Have the instruments somewhere where your child cannot see them and play one of them. They can indicate which one they think it is by touching or looking at the appropriate card. If your child indicates her/his choice by eye pointing, then make sure that they are placed sufficiently well apart.



6. Dance with props

A simple and silly music game for all ages, dance with props allows you to get creative too.

You will need:

  • Music player
  • Props such as hats, balloons, ribbons, pom-poms, wigs, teddy bears, flowers, and anything you can rustle up.
  • Space to dance - in the garden if you have one and it's feasible to use it for this activity.

How to play:

  1. Create a dance floor – remove any obstacles and make the place child-friendly.
  2. Place all the props on a table, to the side of the room.
  3. As soon as you play the music, they all have to run to the table and pick a prop. You can also ask them to pick any other accessory from the room (as long as it is safe) to dance with.
  4. Then dance any way they want while using the prop as an accessory.
  5. Once the music ends, they put the prop back on the table.
  6. They go back and pick another prop when the music begins again, and continue dancing in that style.

This way, they can dance for as long as they want!

7. Tissue dance

A tissue dance is more like a balancing act and less of a dance form. But, it is fun!

You will need:

  • A box of tissues
  • Space to dance
  • Music player

How to play:

  1. Give each person a tissue and ask them to put it on their head.
  2. When the music starts, they should start dancing and moving on the dance floor, without letting the tissue fall.
  3. If the tissue falls off a person's head and he or she catches it before it touches the ground, they can put it back on their head and continue dancing.
  4. But if the tissue falls on the ground, they are out.
  5. The last one still dancing with the tissue on their head is the winner.

8. Mood music

You will need:

  • A collection of songs depicting different emotions – anger, happiness, sadness, and silliness - see separate document for some suggestion.
  • Music player or computer.
  • Space to dance

How to play:

  1. Then tell them that they have to dance according to the mood of the song, which you will mention before playing it.
  2. So for a happy song, you might be jumping and moving energetically, waving hands and feet or nodding the head from side to side, while for a sad song might simply sway or walk slowly, head lowered. Do what feels right!

9. Party island

You will need:

  • Music player or equivalent
  • Space (a lot of it) for dancing
  • Newspapers

How to:

  1. Each person is given a sheet of the newspaper (all of the same size!). Spread out as far away from each other as possible.
  2. Everyone puts the paper on the floor and when the music starts, dance on it. You cannot step on the floor while the music is on.
  3. After a few minutes, stop the music and everyone folds their sheet of paper exactly in half and put it back on the floor.
  4. When the music starts again, continue to dance on the folded paper.

Every few minutes, everyone has to fold the paper in half and dance on it. Those who touch the floor are out. The last person left dancing is the winner!

Songs, rhymes and activities on YouTube

I expect you have found lots of songs and activities on youtube already, but if you haven't here are some that we use at school. For some you can use your home made instruments or household objects.


TheLearningStation - Kids Songs and Nursery Rhymes - get ready for action!


Nature Jam's Preschool Prodigies Pilot - Sweet Beets - Rhythm Lesson and Song for Kids - have your drums or table tops at the ready!

Snow Day (Rhythm Lesson) | Preschool Prodigies Music Lesson From The Prodigies Music Curriculum - again, have your drum or table tops at the ready!

Super Simple Songs - especially Introducing Musical Instruments which introduces the names and sounds of a range of instruments in an entertaining way

Animated stories and fairy tales which include songs.


Barefoot Books

Very watchable, animated songs.

Bring up 'Travelling By' and use instruments, household objects, and voices to make each of the sounds. This works well as a group/family activity.


Bucket Drumming

You will need an up-turned bucket and two sticks per person. Put 'Bucket Drumming' into youtube's search bar. It will come up with Sammy Foster amongst others. At school we have found that Sammy Foster's 'We Will Rock You' is a good one to start with, then you can try out any others that you fancy!