10 Fun Music Activities for Kids

Finding engaging music activities for kids can be challenging. Are you looking for ideas on how to delight your kids with some fun and easy musical activities? Well, look no further. I’ve compiled a quick list of exciting musical activities that you can do with your kids. The activities are:

  • Pass the Parcel
  • Freeze Dance
  • Be an Animal
  • Dance & Draw
  • Tap the Beat
  • Musical Dress-up
  • Listen & Move
  • Loud & Soft
  • Balloon Bounce
  • Musical Simon Says

Fun music activities for kids – preschool children

Fun music activities for kids being taught by teacher

1- Pass the Parcel– For this game you will need a prize wrapped in multiple layers of wrapping paper or something similar (this is the “parcel”). The children sit in a circle. Music is played, and the children pass around the parcel. Each time the music stops, the child who is holding the parcel opens one layer of wrapping. When a child gets to the prize they are the winner! It’s great if the prize includes a little treat or prize for all youngsters involved!

2- Freeze Dance– This is a popular activity, and a hit with youngsters! Find some fun music (the livelier, the better). Tell the children to freeze when the music stops. They can dance again when the music comes back on. Stop and start over and over. It’s that simple.

3- Be an Animal– For this activity you will need some good music. It’s great if you use music that was composed to sound like actual animals, like Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. But, really, any music from a favored composer will do. Just have a list of animals handy and shout out which animal the children should act like next. The kids love it, and it’s a hilarious to watch!

4- Dance & Draw– This combines listening, movement, and fine motor skills. You’ll need paper and drawing/coloring utensils. Find two or three contrasting pieces of music. Might I suggest this one (Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor),this one (Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik), and this one (Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies).

First, have the kids sit and listen to a piece of music (or lie on the floor and close their eyes; this is more fun) and think about how the music makes them feel.

Second, play the piece again, this time with the children dancing to the music.

Third, play the piece for the last time, while the child(ren) color what they feel on a piece of paper. Repeat this process for as many songs as the children’s attention span can handle!

5- Tap the Beat– Find whatever handheld instruments you can find around the house. Don’t have any instruments? Grab some pots and pans and spoons from the kitchen! Turn on some fun music and tap along to the beat. Or, sing songs together and tap along!

Music ideas for school-age kids

Music ideas for school-age kids

6. Musical Dress-up– For this game you’ll need to grab all the silly dress-up clothes you can find (hats, wigs, sunglasses, pants, etc.). Put them in a pile in the middle of the room. Also, you’ll need as many pieces of paper with writing on them as you have children. You can write numbers on the papers, or musical pictures such as music notes or other music notation the kids have learned.  Find some favorite music to play.

The kids will form a circle around the clothes, and then they’ll dance around the clothes while the music plays. When the music stops, each child stands on a piece of paper. You will call out a number (or picture) and that child gets to put on a dress-up item. To make it more fun, you can call out more than one picture or number at a time. This is always a lot of fun!

7. Listen & Move– Find your own music from great composers of the past, or use my recommendations. Haydn’s “Surprise Symphony” & Grieg’s “Morning” from Peer Gynt are fantastic choices for listening and moving. You could do these together or on different days.

  • Haydn’s “Surprise Symphony” no. 94: Have your children lie on the floor or sit somewhere comfortably and close their eyes. Tell them to listen, and that they should feel free to move their arms or legs whenever they hear the surprise. Try to keep them quiet as they do this activity. If they have the focus to listen again, have them count how many times they hear the loud “surprise” in the music.

  • Edvard Grieg’s “Morning” from Peer Gynt: The kids will start out pretending they are the cold dew on grass in the morning, or perhaps a cold flower which is shut overnight. As the music progresses, encourage the children to become another part of nature as they get warmer and warmer. Next, they can dance around the room as their bodies and ears wish them to do. Stopping after about 2 minutes in this song is sufficient, but of course listening to the whole song is great!

8. Loud & Soft, Fast & Slow– For this activity you’ll need some kind of handheld percussion instrument (like a drum or sticks). Don’t have that? Grab a pot & spoon from the kitchen and you’re all set! Have the child(ren) get in front of you. Tell them to move however the sound tells them. Try first doing a very slow beat, then go faster, and faster, and faster! When the kids are proficient at moving between fast & slow, you can try adding in loud and soft and see what happens!

9. Balloon Bounce– Each child will need a blown-up balloon. You’ll also need some music to play. This game can be done with fast music, slow music, classical music, pop music… it doesn’t matter! Each child starts with a balloon in their hand. When the music starts, the children bounce their balloons. When the music stops, they need to get their balloons back in their hands and hold them.

10. Musical Simon Says– Do you know how to play Simon Says? If not, look here at Considerable. Playing Musical Simon Says is much the same, except with a twist. Instead of Simon asking his mates to do a physical action, he asks his mates to make a sound, like a “coooo” of a bird or a “roooooaaaar” of a lion, or even a “twinkle, twinkle, little star” part of a song. Brownie Points for You if you can get a child to be Simon and think of musical things to say for more than 30 seconds!

Wrapping it up…

I’ve given you some quick and easy ways to have fun with your kids. Isn’t it great that doing musical activities with your kids doesn’t have to be difficult? Sometimes it’s the simple things that are more likely to be achieved.

I invite you to try at least one of these music activities for kids.

In the coming months, I will be launching a music course for children which focuses on learning music through folk songs and masterworks. For more information, click here.

Thanks for stopping by!

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