1 Involve children in preparation. Introduce outdoor music and movement sessions with discussions, cooperative problem-solving, and sharing. You might ask: "What songs and dances do you think would be fun to take outside? How can we work together to create a safe space for our sessions? What props can we use to make music and dance?"
2 Collect movement props. Part of the joy of outdoor music and movement is the added space to move. Ask children to suggest what they would like to include in their movements, such as beach balls for balancing and throwing, streamers and scarves for dancing, and hula-hoops and ropes for games and dancing.
3 Create a carryall. Almost anything you normally use for music and movement indoors can move outside. A designated bag will help children get these items outside safely.
4 Select durable instruments. Plastic or wooden instruments are better than those with paper parts. Percussion instruments such as drums, triangles, and shakers are safer than wind (mouth-blown) instruments, because they do not have a mouthpiece, that needs to be cleaned between uses.
5 Collaborate on rules. Invite children to suggest some general rules for taking music and movement outside. Record them on chart paper. Each time you take music and movement outside, remind children of their rules-you'll find that they will be more likely to abide by them.
6 Create a giant wind chime. Invite children to use recycled and art materials to turn the playground fence into a wind chime. Ask: "What can we add to the fence to make sound?"
7 Feel the rhythm of nature. Bring the rhythm of environmental sounds to children's attention by asking them to echo the sounds of a tree branch in the wind or the rat-a-tat-tat of a jackhammer.
8 Ask open-ended questions. Ask: "What things can we find outside to use as musical instruments? What could be a drum? How can you make a sound like a bird?"
9 Play creative outdoor movement games. Children tend to play the same games and repeat the same movements if they are not inspired with new ideas. Teach a new game a week to keep them moving in creative ways. You might ask: "If we hold hands, how can we move to the end of the playground without letting go of each other?"
10 Add a soundtrack. Bring a music player outside to add a soundtrack to outdoor play.