Activity Plan 4-5: A Drumming Party
Create homemade instruments for fun and learning.
- Grades: PreK–K
- oatmeal, large yogurt, or coffee containers with lids
- collage materials (colored paper, foil, feathers, sequins)
- masking tape
- recorded drum music
- white paper
- paint and brushes
- camera and film
Objective: Children will create instruments that encourage creativity, music and rhythm awareness, and cooperative play.
In Advance: Send a note home explaining that children will be making drums. Ask families to donate empty containers for the project. If any family members play drums, invite them to visit and share their talents.
1 Ask children to share what they know about drums. Record their responses. Talk to children about the ways in which the drum is a very important instrument in many cultures, often featured in the music of Native American, African, Latin, and Asian cultures. Then play a variety of recorded drum music. Engage children in discussions about the music.
2 Explain to children that they will all have the opportunity to make their own drums. Tell them that they will have a special drum party when they have all completed their drums.
3 Put paper, glue, paints, and collage materials on a table. Invite children to work at the table in small groups. Ask them to choose containers for their drums. Assist children in taping the lids to the bases of their containers. Provide each child with a premeasured sheet of white paper to glue around the drum. The children can listen to a variety of recorded drum music while they are creating their drums.
4 Encourage children to decorate their drums using paint and collage materials. Encourage children to work on their drums for a few days so they have the opportunity to explore materials and create individual and decorative instruments. Photograph the children as they create their drums.
5 Invite children to bring their finished drums to meeting time. Ask them to share their drums with the class. Follow this with a drum party. The children can play along with recorded music and work together to create and follow different beats.
6 Take a photograph of the children with their completed drums. Engage children in a collaborative project to create a class book or poster documenting the process of their drum project. Incorporate children's dictations, drawings, and writing into their work.
Movement: Create dances to accompany children's drumming. Divide the children into two groups, drummers and dancers. Assist the drummers in developing one or two rhythms to play on their drums, and invite the other children to dance to the rhythms. Then have the groups switch. Be flexible. Some children may only want to participate in one of the activities.