Introduce your preschooler to some multicultural musical activities to foster her musical side. Showing your little one that not all music sounds the same might just work to your advantage. She may take a liking to something besides the latest musical hit that she’s been repeatedly playing for the last three weeks.
Get those wiggles out with a preschool dance party. Pick some kid-friendly multicultural music, such as Putumayo Hawaiian Playground and Jazz Playground Putumayo by Putumayo Kids. Turn up the tunes and let her shake her booty. After about five minutes, turn that dance party into a freeze dance. Let the music play for about a minute and then turn the music off for about 10 seconds in which time she has to hold a funny shape with her body. Turn the music back on for another minute and repeat the freeze dance sequence a few times.
Save your hard-earned bucks and make your own instruments from things you find around the house. Empty coffee cans with plastic lids make an easy drum. Decorate the can with puffy paint or stickers and allow it to dry. These may not end up being exact replicas of Native American or African drums, but the idea is there. String some jingle bells on a pipe cleaner and tie the ends together to make a bracelet or anklet. Let her shake or stomp around to make her own music. Many cultures use bells, often accompanied by dancing and chanting. Roll a two-feet section of aluminum foil into a loose snake shape. Curl it into a corkscrew shape and shove it into a paper towel roll. Place masking tape over one end to seal it up. Pour a handful of rice in the tube and seal the other end with tape. Decorate the outside any way she wants. She now has an African rainstick that she can shake to make noise. Choose any of these instruments to make a musical parade and let her march around playing her heart out.
Even if you don’t sing like a pro, your voice will be magical to your preschooler. The two of you can sing multicultural songs like “It’s a Small World,” “The World is a Circle” by Rita Gold, “Everybody Has a Story” by Lorraine Bayes or “We're Just Like Crayons” by Stephen Fite for starters. Throw some dance moves in and you’re both rock stars.
Send her off to dreamland with some multicultural naptime tunes. Play music, such as Celtic Dreamland Sleeptime, Acoustic Dreamland and Multicultural Lullabies around the World CD by Putumayo Kids. Set it at a low volume near your child as she drifts off from the day’s adventures.
- KidsHealth: Introducing Preschoolers to Music
- Education.com: Four Important Reasons for Including Music in the Classroom
- The Importance of Music and Movement; April Kaiser
- PBS: Activities that Promote Racial and Cultural Awareness
- Songs for Teaching: Multicultural Music and Songs that Build an Appreciation of Diversity