Providing children with the opportunity to explore sound, feel movement and make their own music is the purpose of an outdoor music center. Allowing them to freely discover different types of sounds and rhythms from a variety of instruments and objects inspires creativity and facilitates hands-on learning. Encouraging outside play and dance with an assortment of sound makers will keep preschoolers engaged and interested in musical discovery. An outdoor music center or sound garden should be pleasing to the eyes of preschoolers with bold colors and cheerful design. There should be a variety of instruments including small, large and even oversized sound makers. Thinking outside the box, include items such as kitchen utensils or wooden sticks, providing anything that can make a sound and engage early learners.
Creating an Outdoor Music Center for Preschool
Begin by making the outdoor space visually appealing to young musicians. Decorate the designated area by hanging colorful scarves or streamers from branches, fences, or anything in the outdoor area. Hang bold fabrics from trees or arches to create a mock stage for musical shows. In addition, lye down bright blankets or mats to sit on for audience seating or a small drum circle. Paint is always another great way to enhance a space with a little bit of color. Children are especially attracted to anything with vivid hues and vibrant tones.
Provide a movable storage bin for smaller instruments that can be easily transported to and from the sound garden. Include sound makers like banjos, shakers, trumpets, and didgeridoos. Whether it’s a basket, a wagon, or a trunk on wheels, making all types of sound makers available to children is important for musical discovery.
There is no better place to listen to children beating drums than outside! Design a percussion wall by nailing muffin tins, cake pans, and other metal odds and end to a wooden fence or post. Another idea would be bring the drumming materials down to the ground. Set them up on varying levels using stairs, tree stumps, or low tables. Include instruments like bongos, gongs and cymbals. Flip over galvanized trashcans so preschoolers can experience the sounds of a steel drum. With their hands, drumsticks or wooden spoons, preschoolers can create musical arrangements for their listening pleasure.
Get creative with large outdoor instruments by setting up stimulating sound sculptures for curious children to explore. These sound makers are made to be a part of the sound garden year round, rain or shine. Design a giant xylophone with some scrap wood of varying sizes, some rope and two posts. Make an oversized set of chimes by hanging bamboo sticks or pvc pipes from a tree branch or homemade stand. String together a sound line by attaching smaller instruments to a rope or clothesline. Sound makers like tambourines, triangles, hand bells or maracas would be great additions to a sound line. If there is a tree or trees available in the outside play area, make them musical, as well. By suspending pots, pans, tin cans and aluminum lids from the branches of a tree, children have a whole new way to explore sound.
Anything that is colorful and can make sounds will attract and engage preschoolers. Get started on your outdoor music center today!