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Music Activities for Preschoolers

Written by Debbie Brown | April 29, 2024

Music is a natural and fun way for preschoolers to explore the world around them. I have created a collection of music activities for preschoolers to get you started.

musical instruments for preschoolers

Music Activities for Preschoolers

This collection of music activities for preschoolers is loaded with fun ways to help your preschooler explore the world of music.

Explore the World of Music with Preschoolers

  1. Classical Music
    • Explore classical music and introduce a few popular composers like Mozart, Beethoven, or Tchaikovsky. FreeSchool on YouTube has a great list of 37 short clips from a variety of composers. These would be great to use for the following two activities.
      • Listen to music like instrumental soundtracks and see if your child can picture what might be happening in the music. Does it sound like a party, a storm, someone running, someone walking slowly, someone climbing a mountain?
  2. Music Performance
    • Watch a local musical performance. Often colleges have performance art departments that do public music performances. Churches and community events will have them as well.
    • Watch a marching band or listen to a concert at a park.
Preschooler playing mini piano
  1. Basic Musical Terms ( Beginning Music Theory)
    • Introduce basic beginning musical terms.
      • Tempo – the speed of music
        • Presto (very fast) and Largo (slow)The Jungle Tempo Challenge is a fun YouTube video to practice this concept. Heads up – there is a jaguar that shows up that might scare younger preschoolers.
          • Tiger Tempo By Vicky Weber read on YouTube illustrates this concept. This nook includes 4 terms- largo (slow), andante ( moderately slow / walking pace), allegro (fast), presto (very fast)
      • Pitch – High / Low
        • Explore with high and low sounds.
          • If you have a piano or keyboard, listen to the difference between the low keys and the high keys,
          • You can also use items like a box as a drum for a low sound and a bell for a high sound.
          • Make a voice with deep low sounds a giant would make and a high voice like a teeny tiny mouse.
      • Rhythm
        • Kindermusik describes rhythm patterns as “combinations of long and short sounds and silences.”
        • Rhythm Rescue by Vicky Weber read by the author on YouTube helps illustrate this concept.
        • Play Around with Sounds Using Onomatopoeias!
          • Onomatopoeias are words that describe their own sound like crunch and splash. Preschoolers love making these sounds! This is a fun way to practice rhythms. Below you can print up a free list of onomatopoeia words to use.
          • Here’s some great YouTube clips to help your child explore this concept:
      • Mood – feeling
        • Listen to music and discuss the mood (the feeling) of different music. Does the music sound: happy, sad, excited, silly, or relaxing?
        • Move to the action words in the song
        • move to the tempo (speed) or mood (feeling) of the music
      • Dynamics – loud and soft (quiet)
        • This is a concept preschoolers already understand – lol.
        • The terms used are forte (loud) and piano (soft). These resources on YouTube will help reinforce these two new words:
        • Stomp your feet loud. Clap your hands soft (quiet)

Here’s a free handy reference to help you remember these musical terms.

Preschool Music Terms

Musical Instrument Crafts

Explore musical instruments and the sounds they make. Let your little ones make their own musical instruments. Below you will find links to some great ideas.

Songs to Sing and Move To

  1. Learning New Things with Music
  2. YouTube Music Activities for Preschoolers
  3. Here’s a collection of playlists of songs organized by theme for Spotify. A treasure trove of preschool favorites!
American Flag and music notes
  1. Patriotic Songs
  • Listen to patriotic songs. You can also listen to some on my Spotify Playlist Patriotic Songs for Preschoolers. Kidboomer ‘s Patriotic Songs for Kids on YouTube is another great list of songs. Here’s a list of some popular ones here in USA.
    • America (My Country Tis of Thee)
    • God Bless America
    • This Land is Your Land
    • Yankee Doodle
    • The Star Spangled Banner
    • Stars and Stripes Forever

Picture Books About Musical Instruments

  • The Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub. This comes with a CD or you can listen to it read by the author along with the music on YouTube. One of my favorites!
  • A Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra by Robert Levine. This book includes a music download so you can listen to 37 selections that go along with what you’re reading
  • Family Dynamics: Embrace Your Sound by Courtney Vowell Woodward ( Listen on YouTube )

Picture Books Based on Preschool Songs

  • Five Green and Speckled Frogs by Constanza Basaluzzo
  • America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates (Scholastics)
  • Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Child
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
  • Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree by Eileen Christelow
  • Who Took The Cookie From the Cookie Jar by Bonnie Lass
  • The Wheels on the Bus by Raffi
  • Down by the Bay by Raffi
  • Baby Beluga by Raffi
  • Five Little Ducks by Raffi
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It by Raffi
  • This Little Light of Mine by Raffi
  • Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi
  • Jesus Loves Me by VeggieTales
  • I Thank God for This Day! by VeggieTales
  • How Much is That Doggie in the Window by Iza Trapani
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani
  • Row Row Row Your Boat by Iza Trapani
  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Iza Trapani
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Iza Trapani
  • Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth
  • The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky

I’ve put all these books on a list for you to take to the library or wherever you look for books.

Music Book List for Preschoolers

Musical Instrument Crafts

Great Music Activity Ideas

Be sure to check out these preschool activities:

Debbie Brown Tothood 101

DEBBIE BROWN

Hi! I’m Debbie Brown. I created Tothood 101 because I’m passionate about sharing preschool activity ideas, and resources that I’ve gleaned from my 20+ years of experience teaching preschoolers at home and in the classroom. My goal is to encourage, guide, and help inspire you to make learning SUPER FUN for your preschooler at home! Check out the ABOUT page to learn more.

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