Skills: Children will develop creative-thinking skills as they create their own instruments.
- A variety of objects you might find in your setting or in a kitchen such as rulers, pencils, paper clip boxes, a grater, a hand eggbeater, measuring spoons, empty plastic bottles, oatmeal boxes
- Recorded marching music
In Advance: Put out a variety of safe-to-handle gadgets and let children explore and play with them. Pick up on their interests and together brainstorm different ways to make sounds using the objects. Encourage them to try many different methods, and come up with ideas to make sounds such as rattling, tapping, blowing, and rubbing.
- Invite small groups of children to look around the room for additional objects to use in a gadget band. Explain that once they've found an object or two, they can use any of the sound-making methods you've already talked about. Give children plenty of time to experiment with their newfound "instruments" and demonstrate the new and different sounds for one another.
- Organize your gadget band by gathering all the musicians together outdoors, putting on some recorded marching music on your tape/CD player, and inviting the band to parade around your outdoor play space. At various times, suggest that children try to vary the sound they are making with their instruments. Also, vary the volume of the music so children can try playing their instruments loudly and softly. Here's a song you can sing together:
The Gadget Band (Tune: "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush")
The gadget band has come to school,
Come to school, come to school.
The gadget band has come to school
To play for all its friends.
Let's all make a tapping (rattling, rubbing, etc.) sound
A tapping sound, a tapping sound
Let's all make a tapping sound
And play for all our friends
For younger children: Accompany children's gadget band by singing some of their favorite, simple tunes. This will help children play in harmony with a tune they know well.
For older children: Invite children to experiment with different combinations of their gadgets to create new, unique sounds.
Observations: Do some children eagerly experiment with different gadgets and the sounds they make? Do others seem more timid and need more suggestions/direction?
Invite children to bring objects from home to use in an outdoor gadget band. Allow children to experiment with the different objects over several days.
Franklin's Music Lessons by Sharon Jennings
Froggy Plays in the Band by Jonathan London
Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Duly Songs by Alan Katz
Today Is Monday by Eric Carle