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Day Camp at Home Week 2: Music Makers

Welcome to the second week of Active for Life Day Camp at Home! Every week until Aug. 24, we’ll provide you with activities, crafts, and book recommendations for you and your kids to do at home. Here you’ll find a variety of games and activity ideas, using little to no equipment and materials, that will keep your children active, engaged, and having fun!

Welcome to Week 2: Music Makers

This week we’ll be sharing lots of musical games and activities for your child to play on their own and with a caregiver! Along with arts and crafts projects, book suggestions, and some bonus activities, your child will be moving to the music while fine-tuning their musical talents.

You decide how you want to use these activities: pick one thing to do each day of the week, plan a full day of fun, or just scan through for inspiration and do what sounds fun to you.

Here’s what we’ve got for this week:

Other weeks

Week 1: Animal Planet
Week 3: Exploration
Week 4: Olympic Games
Week 5: Going Green
Week 6: Under the Sea
Week 7: Splish, Splash
Week 8: Where the Wild Things Are

  • Independent play: Have a dance party and create a skipping song on your sidewalk!
  • Arts & crafts: Make your own rainmaker stick and move to the sound it makes.
  • Active family fun: Dance like your favourite animal and make music with your family.
  • Quiet time: We’ve got book suggestions for music-lovers of all ages.

Independent play

These self-directed music-themed activities support creative and imaginative play, as well as the development of physical coordination and fundamental movement skills.

Activity: Musical Prop Shop

What you’ll need:

  • Music player/phone
  • Props you have around the house (i.e. hats, scarves, balloons, ribbons, pom-poms, costumes, stuffed animals)
  • Space to dance

How to play:

  1. Create a dance floor space and put all props in a spot at the side of the room.
  2. Use our “awesome family dance party” playlist or put on some of your own favourite tunes.
  3. At the start of each song, have your child run and choose a prop to create a dance with—the more creative the better!
  4. Once the song has ended, have your child put the prop back and choose another one for the start of the next song.

Modifications:

Add more ways to move:

  • Change the type of movement children do as they move to and from the prop area (i.e. crawl, skip, hop)
  • Change the speed of movement as they dance and move to and from the prop area (i.e. slow motion, super speedy)
  • Increase the size of the dancing space and/or change up the location (i.e. dance inside, outside, in different rooms)

How to make it easier:

  • Limit the number of props to choose from
  • Choose two or three songs to allow children more time to dance
  • Give children ideas on how to use the prop (i.e. a stuffed animal can be a dance partner, etc.)

How to increase the challenge:

  • Increase the number of songs or shorten the length of time each song is played
  • Give your child a list of props they have to find within the play space

Activity: Sidewalk Song

What you’ll need:

  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Sidewalk area

How to play:

  1. Using various colours of sidewalk chalk, draw music notes (example below) in different patterns along a stretch of sidewalk.
  2. Your child can move in whatever way they wish between music notes, similar to hopscotch.
  3. Encourage your child to draw their own music notes or musical picture.

Modifications:

Add more ways to move:

  • Change the type of movement children do (i.e. hop, skip, jump, lunge)
  • Change the speed of movement (i.e. slow motion, super speedy)
  • Incorporate a ball for your child to hold, bounce or dribble while they move between music notes

How to make it easier:

  • Change the size of playing area—start small and gradually increase
  • Draw music notes in a small circle or square instead of a straight line

How to increase the challenge:

  • Single music notes = hop on one foot, double music notes = hop on two feet
  • One colour jump/hop – your child can only jump/hop to and from the same colour notes.

Arts & crafts

The following activities are super easy and fun to do with your child.

Craft: Rainmaker

What you’ll need:

  • A cardboard paper towel or toilet paper roll
  • A piece of paper that your child can colour and decorate
  • Beans or rice
  • Duct tape
  • Assorted craft materials (i.e. pom-poms, ribbon, etc.) (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cover one end of the roll with duct tape so it’s completely sealed.
  2. Add beans or rice into the roll.
  3. Cover the other end of the roll with duct tape so it’s completely sealed.
  4. Decorate the tube with a coloured piece of paper or other craft supplies.

Modifications:

How to make it easier:

  • Tape the one end of the tube prior to starting the activity and have your child put the beans or rice in with help from an adult
  • To decorate the paper, children can colour or use stamps or stickers

How to increase the challenge:

  • Use different materials inside the rainmaker to experiment with sound (i.e. rocks, beads, etc.)
  • Use a larger object instead of a paper tube (i.e. pop bottle, coffee can)

Active family fun

Here are some great music-themed activities you can do as a family to encourage your child’s interest in music in a fun and engaging way.

Activity: Dancing in the Wild

What you’ll need:

  • Pictures or cards of various animals—make your own or download printable flashcards
  • Songs (use a variety of songs from different genres of music)
  • Music player/phone
  • Space to dance

How to play:

  1. Display the animal pictures where everyone can see them.
  2. Review the traits of each animal before you start the game (i.e. how each animal moves, how fast or slow it moves, and the sounds it makes, etc).
  3. For each song, ask children to move to the music copying the movements/sounds of an animal they chose.
  4. Play a variety of songs from different genres.

Modifications:

Add more ways to move:

  • Change up the location of the dancing area (i.e. inside, outside, different rooms)
  • Change size of playing area—start small and gradually increase the size of the dancing area

How to make it easier:

  • Assign an animal or allow them to pick an animal before each song
  • Children can copy animal moves of another player
  • Choose to play a limited number of songs to allow more time to dance

How to increase the challenge:

  • Increase the number of songs or shorten the length of time each song is played
  • Combine two animals to create a brand new animal and dance move

Activity: The Family Band

What you’ll need:

  • Sheets of paper
  • Coloured pens

How to play:

  1. Together, choose a symbol and a sound to go along with it (i.e. star = clap your hands, circle = stomp your feet, etc.) and write it down on paper.
  2. Repeat Step 1 to make 3 or 4 different “music notes” (combinations of symbols and sounds).
  3. Work together to create a song using your very own “music notes.”

Modifications:

Add more ways to move:

  • Change up the type of movements for each “music note” to make them more challenging (i.e. jump up then stomp your feet, crouch down and slap the floor)

How to make it easier:

  • Limit the number of “music notes” you have
  • Colour code the “music notes” to help children remember movements

How to increase the challenge:

  • Assign more than one movement per “music note”
  • Set a time limit to complete all “music notes”

Quiet time

Here are some recommended reads on our music theme (with links to read-aloud videos on YouTube):

    • 0-3 years: We are Music by Brandon Stosuy

    • 3-5 years: Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

    • 6-8 years: Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo by John Lithgow

    • 9-12 years: Sarai #3: Sarai Saves the Music by Sarai Gonzalez

Bonus activities

Whether you play a musical instrument, have regular family dance parties, or love to sing in the shower, music unites us all! Have fun with this week’s musical activities.

Join us next week to discover new adventures in our Exploration activity plan. Get a sneak peek at what’s ahead in our printable Active for Life Day Camp at Home adventure map. Give it to your child to colour in and see what themes are coming up next!

We’d love to hear from you and your child! What was your favourite activity? What did you learn this week? Share in the comments below.

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