Outdoor Activities/Music & Movement: A Kazoo Parade
It's satisfying to make music on a homemade instrument!
- Grades: PreK–K
Skills: Children will develop creative-thinking, fine-motor, gross-motor, listening, and language skills.
- Cardboard toilet paper or paper towel tubes cut in half
- Waxed paper
- Rubber bands
- Nontoxic markers & crayons
- Pen or pencil
- Rhythm instruments
- Recorded marching music
In Advance: Start this activity by conducting a short parade complete with rhythm instruments. Take a cassette or CD player outdoors. Play some marching music and invite children to choose an instrument and join in the band. Periodically, stop the group and have just one type of instrument play, such as the drums. Encourage the drummers to march and make their sounds. Then have another instrument play alone. This way every child gets to march with both a large group and a small one. It also helps children hear the sounds that each instrument makes.
1 Gather a few children together at a table indoors to make kazoos. Show them the tubes and ask them how they think they could use them to make a sound. Some children will immediately blow into it like a horn, others will tap it like a drumstick. Say, "I have an easy way to make an instrument called a kazoo. We can make them together."
2 Pass out crayons and markers and invite children to decorate the outside of their tubes. When they're finished, help each child use a pencil or pen to make a hole in the side of the tube about two-thirds of the way down. Then, help children hold a piece of wax paper over the end of the tube as you secure it with a rubber band. Now the kazoos are finished and ready for action.
3 The trick to playing a kazoo is the humming. Together, hum an easy, favorite song such as "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." Remind children that when they hum they keep their mouths closed and their lips together. Next, show children how to hum into the open end of the kazoo. Some children may try to blow at first, but will soon see that it doesn't work that way. Eventually, your whole group will be humming along!
4 Take your kazoo band outside for some brisk marching. March around your outdoor play space a few times. You can choose a song to hum, but most children will be more interested in humming their own tunes as they march. March around the play space and/or school and end up back at the play area. Sit down for a well-deserved rest. Kazoo playing takes a lot of wind!
For younger children: Give children lots of time to explore the rhythm-band instruments before involving them in an outdoor march.
For older children: See if children can think of other ways to make the sound of a drum, rhythm sticks, or other rhythm band instruments.
Provide cardboard boxes, wind chimes, wooden blocks, and other classroom materials. Invite children to take them outdoors and use them to create original rhythm band instruments. Talk with children about the different sounds their newfound instruments make!