Meet the Musicians

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Meet the Musicians

I have created a fun, interactive activity for my great-nephew to use this weekend during a special music event. I wanted to share it with my readers, because even if you aren’t from the Indianapolis area, you might find a local event for your child to use it.

The Event

This weekend the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is hosting a free Community Day. I am so excited! We have been taking our great-nephew to outdoor summer concert band and big band events since he was a few months old. Now we have the opportunity to introduce him to the symphony orchestra. He has shown interest in learning what the different instruments are but this will be his first time to experience the string instruments.

One of the features of the event is being able to meet the musicians and see the instruments up close. I created the activity below so my great-nephew would have a reason to interact a little more closely with the musicians while also learning the names of the instruments.

Meet the Musicians Activity

Click on the image below to get your downloadable activity sheet. I would suggest printing it on cardstock so that it holds up better. Take along a fine point permanent marker (or two) for the musicians to use. Have your child identify the instrument the musician is playing and match it to one on the sheet. Once the musicians are finished with their performance politely approach them (being careful to avoid bumping their instruments) and ask them to sign across the picture of the instrument they play. Besides learning to identify the instruments, your child will be learning to interact with others (using please and thank you). We are going to use this opportunity for an additional lesson; teaching our great-nephew about shaking hands (he is 3 years old).

I would love to hear about your experience with the activity sheet. Please come back and leave a comment.

Meet the Musicians Activity Sheet

Meet the Musicians Activity Sheet

Free Community Day with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO)
See my September Family Friendly Events post for more details.
Doors open at 2:00
Concert begins at 5:00 p.m.
Free

Related Posts

Fun with Music – Overview
Fun with Music: Percussion Instruments
Fun with Music: Brass Instruments
Fun with Music: Woodwind Instruments
Fun with Music: Voices
Fun with Music: String Instruments
Fun with Music: Keyboards
Music at an Early Age by Mamamusing
Review: Rhythm! Discovery Center
Review: Peanut Butter and Jam Concerts

Acknowledgements

Dancing Crayon DesignsThe images for the Meet the Musicians Activity were created by Dancing Crayon Designs

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Whale of a Sale Pre-Sale Pass Give-Away

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Whale of a Sale Pre-Sale Pass Give-Away

Whale of a Sale Children's Consignment Event

Whale of a Sale Children’s Consignment Event

*** Update 9/3:  Congratulations to Angela Miller and Drew Tipton Conrad. Each of you win a pair of tickets to the pre-sale for the Whale of a Sale Children’s Consignment Event. With your tickets, you can enter this evening, between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. (before it’s open to the public). All you have to do is give your name at the entrance.  Thanks so everyone that participated in this give-away. I hope each of you will find more useful information on my blog. God bless each and everyone of you. ~ Mama Carmody

I don’t promote many sales on my blog but when I see something that can help parent’s out, by saving them money, I have to share it.

I was able to attend a Whale of a Sale event last year. I was very impressed with how well organized everything was. The items were clean and in wonderful shape. You will be able to find brand name items at excellent prices. As well as clothing, you will be able to find toys, puzzles, DVD’s and other wonderful Christmas gift items.

Whale of a Sale has given me the opportunity of give-away 2 pairs of pre-sale tickets. The pre-sale is open only to those with tickets on Wednesday (9/3) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This is a short give-away so enter now. I will post the winners on Wednesday morning.

The event will be taking place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Agriculture Horticulture Building:
1202 E. 38th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46205
$5 for Parking but Admission is Free

Here are the times Whale of a Sale will be open to the general public:

Thursday 9/4 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday 9/5 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Saturday (half price day) 9/6 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Enter the give-away to be able to enjoy the sale before it’s open to the public. There will be 2 winners that will each receive a pair of tickets to Whale of a Sale pre-sale on Wednesday evening (9/3) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Whale of a Sale Children's Consignment Event

Whale of a Sale Children’s Consignment Event

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Related Posts

September Family Friendly Events

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Doctors: Love to Learn About Community Helpers

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Doctors: Love to Learn About Community Helpers

I’m going to start my posts, on Community Helpers, with doctors. Children spend a lot of time with doctors, starting at birth. They need to realize that doctors are their friends and are just helping them to stay healthy. Don’t lie to your child about getting shots, then not only will they be afraid of the doctor but they won’t trust you either. Let them know it will hurt a little bit but the hurt doesn’t last long and shots are to keep them from getting sick.

I always like to start my learning activities with a book. I have listed a few, in the Story Time section, for you to choose from. If you have another book, that you really like, please share it with me.

Below you will also find a craft and some ideas for pretend play. Be sure to enjoy this time of exploration and learning with your child.

Content:

Playtime
Fun Sheet
Craft
Story Time
Related Posts
Acknowledgements

Playtime

Does your child have a toy doctor’s kit to play with? If not, purchase some band-aids, gauze, medical tape and some wipes at the Dollar Tree (or whatever inexpensive store you have). Even if your child does have a toy doctor’s kit it would be fun to occasionally give them some real supplies to play with. You might even be able to find an inexpensive thermometer (not the glass kind) that would be safe for them to play with. Bring out the dolls and have fun making them feel better. Your child may even want to fix an “ouchie” that you have.

Dress up is another fun way to explore the world of doctors. Dress up is fun for boys and girls alike. I like to look for costumes after Halloween. You can find them really cheap.

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Fun Sheet

Community Helpers: Doctor Fun Sheet

Community Helpers: Doctor Fun Sheet

I have created a fun sheet to do with your child. Have your child color the doctor and then color only the items that the doctor would use. Don’t color the items that the doctor would not use.
Click on the picture to get the downloadable fun sheet.

The fun sheet is a great way for your child to develop their fine motor skills, as they color. They will learn to follow directions and will also reinforce what they have learned about doctors.

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Craft

Doctor’s Bag

Community Helpers: Doctors - Materials Needed For Doctor's Bag Craft

Community Helpers: Doctors – Materials Needed For Doctor’s Bag Craft

Materials Needed:

Template for Doctor’s Bag craft
Black or white construction paper
cotton swabs
band aid
cotton ball
gauze
glue
tape
crayons or markers
scissors

Instructions:

1. Print the template for the Doctor’s Bag craft
2. Cut out the pieces.
3. Choose whether you want to make a black doctor’s bag or a white one.
4. I like to use the extra large pieces of construction paper. If you do use that size, then fold the paper in half. Place the template of the doctor’s bag onto the construction paper, with the bottom of the bag on the fold. If you use regular size paper, then cut out 2 of the bags and then tape or staple them together at the bottom.
5. Trace and then cut out the bag.

Community Helpers: Doctors -Do ctor's Bag Craft

Community Helpers: Doctors -Doctor’s Bag Craft

6. Have your child color the stethoscope, thermometer and needle.
7. Now glue or tape your items inside the doctor’s bag. Don’t forget your cotton ball, cotton swabs, gauze and band aid.

Community Helpers: Doctors - Doctor's Bag Craft

Community Helpers: Doctors – Doctor’s Bag Craft

I also cut out and glued the white cross from the template to the outside of my doctor’s bag.
8. Discuss with your child what other items a doctor might have in his bag.

Community Helpers: Doctors - Doctor's Bag Craft

Community Helpers: Doctors – Doctor’s Bag Craft

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Story Time

A Day in a Life of a Doctor (DK Readers, Level 1) by Linda Hayward
Reading Level: Ages 4 – 7 yrs old
Follow Doctor Baker through her day. She has to go to work early because of a little girl that is very sick. You will get to see and hear about the different instruments the doctor uses. She not only has to take care of patients at her doctor’s office but she also has patients at the hospital that she has to check on. A doctor’s day can be very long and busy but they like being able to help people feel better.

Doctors (Community Helpers) by Dee Ready
Reading Level: Ages 4 and up
This is a great book to introduce your child to the responsibilities of a doctor. The illustrations are actual pictures of doctors doing their many jobs. The text is simple; just a few clear sentences to each illustration. Once you share this book with your child, they will have a better understanding of what doctors do and the things they need to perform their jobs.

Tools We Use: Doctors (BookWorms) by Dana Meachen Rau
Reading Level: Ages 4 – 7 yrs old
This is a wonderful little book to help your child be comfortable with going to the doctor. It describes and shows many of the things that might happen to them. Your child can see the instruments that a doctor uses to listen to your heart or to look into your ears and eyes. A lot of time your child is fearing the unknown. If you take time to talk and show them what could happen it can put your child at ease. The illustrations will help your child feel better since they can see several smiling children visiting the doctor.

We Need Doctors (Helpers in Our Community) by Lola M. Schaefer
Reading Level: Ages 3 and up
This is a simple little book that makes a great introduction to doctors. There is just one sentence per page. Each page shows a picture and explains something about doctors. You get information about the jobs they do and the things they need to carry out their work.

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Related Posts

Community Helpers – Overview
Dentists: Love to Learn about Community Helpers

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Acknowledgements:

Images for Doctor’s Bag Craft and part of Fun Sheet created by Polliwog Place
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Polliwog-Place

Some of the images for the Fun Sheet were created by Charlotte’s Clips
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Charlottes-Clips-4150

 

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Review

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Review

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Review

How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Review

Disclaimer: I was given 4 tickets to attend the screening of “How to Train Your Dragon 2”; however, I was not influenced by the promotional materials. All opinions and insights are my own.

I was excited for the opportunity to review How to Train Your Dragon 2 but I thought that I should probably see the first movie before I saw #2. There is a link to my review of the first movie at the bottom of this post.

When I was young I loved dinosaurs; and dragons are just fire-breathing, flying dinosaurs, aren’t they? So I was looking forward to this 2nd movie in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. I mentioned, in my review of the first movie, that I was concerned that young children might be scared by the fighting between the dragons and the Vikings, however, I didn’t have that concern with this movie. Yes, there is fighting and dragons but in my opinion it isn’t as scary because, at the beginning of this movie, the dragons and Vikings are friends.

The movie starts out with a humorous dragon race. There were lots of giggles from children and adults as Astrid, Fishlegs and the others compete in a pretty silly race that involves tossing sheep into baskets. The sheep didn’t look like they were having quite as much fun as everyone else.

This movie again takes place on the Island of Berk but the dragons and Vikings now live peacefully with each other. Hiccup is still the thinker and adventurer. He and Toothless are traveling near and far mapping out the new lands they find.

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Marauders

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Marauders

During their explorations they come across a band of marauders that catch and enslave dragons. The marauders try to capture Toothless but Hiccup and Toothless are able to break free. They are still faced with the problem of how to free the other dragons that have been enslaved. And what about the stories of a mysterious Dragon Rider that the marauders are worried about?

How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Dragon Rider

How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Dragon Rider

If you liked the first How to Train Your Dragon, then you will love How to Train Your Dragon 2.

I would again like to warn parents, if you have a sensitive child or one that worries about monsters, this movie might be a bit scary for them. There is a lot of fighting between people and dragons. There are also a couple of extra huge dragons in this movie. However, if your child isn’t bothered by this type of action then they will really enjoy How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Related Posts

How to Train Your Dragon – Review

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How To Train Your Dragon – Review

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How To Train Your Dragon

In anticipation of the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2, I thought maybe I should see the first How to Train Your Dragon. I headed to the Redbox website and reserved a copy to view. The movie was originally released in 2010 by DreamWorks Animation and can now be found on Blu-Ray and DVD.

The story is set in a Viking village called the Island of Berk. The island is regularly attacked by dragons, and all Vikings strive to be great dragon killers…well, all except one. Hiccup, who has more brain than brawn, is happiest using his mind and hands to invent contraptions to catch the dragons. He strives to be a great Viking like his father, the chief of the village.

During an attack, by the dragons, Hiccup uses one of his inventions and actually nets one. The dragon is an elusive and quite mysterious Night Fury. Once Hiccup tracks down the place where the dragon fell from the sky, he finally has his opportunity to kill a dragon and prove himself to his father and the village. But alas, once he looks into the eyes of the dragon he can’t bring himself to kill it so he releases it from the net.

How to Train Your Dragon - Review

How to Train Your Dragon – Review

Hiccup ends up building a trust and friendship with the Night Fury, which he calls Toothless. (By the way, Toothless is anything BUT toothless.) The more Hiccup interacts and observes Toothless the more he realizes that different dragons have different likes and dislikes, the same as humans. He learns that becoming friends with dragons is as easy as learning the things they enjoy. However, trying to convince the other Vikings that they could be friends with the dragons is a whole other challenge.

This story teaches the importance of taking the time to learn about others. They may
become your good friends if you just take the time to get to know them.

I would like to give a warning to parents. If you have a sensitive child or one that worries about monsters, I would wait until they get a little older to see this movie. I originally thought this movie would not be good for a child under 5 years old but I discussed it with a good friend and fellow blogger, Crystal Paschal, author of Mom for Less. She has two boys ages 5 and 3. She said that both her boys had seen it (although not in a theater) and didn’t have any issues. My concerns came from the beginning of the movie when the dragons were attacking the village and the Vikings are trying to kill the dragons. I thought that could be scary and cause nightmares to a young child. Crystal suggested that boys might be less frightened by all the action. Then I remembered that my youngest daughter was watching Jurassic Park (at home with the lights on) when she was 3 years old so maybe I was being overly cautious.

Have your children seen How to Train Your Dragon? How old were they and did it give them nightmares? I would love to hear about your family’s experience and I’m sure others would too.

Related Posts

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Review

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The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center Review

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The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center Review

Disclaimer: I was given free admission to the Indianapolis Zoo and the Orangutan Center, for 3 guests and myself, however I was not influenced by the offer. All opinions and insights are my own.

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center is receiving nationwide media attention and is being called one of the most significant zoo exhibits anywhere in the world. The zoo’s website says, “An epic adventure awaits inside this incredible new exhibit, which offers an unparalleled experience for both guests and orangutans.” After our visit today, I must say, I agree.

In Preparation

I invited my friend and her two little boys (ages 4 ½ and 2 ½) to go with me. We did a couple of things in preparation for our trip. First of all, we visited the zoo’s special site called Azy and Friends. We were able to learn about each of the orangutans that reside in the Center. We learned their ages, where they lived before they came to Indianapolis, what their favorite foods are and a little about their personalities. You will find a fun little quiz on the site that will match you up with one of the orangutans. We took the quiz and then I made each of us a special t-shirt with the picture of our orangutan on it.

Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: Rockin' Our Orange

Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: Rockin’ Our Orange

I picked up some books, from the library. I gave Ashley one titled, Orangutan (A Day in the Life: Rain Forest Animals) by Anita Ganeri. She said the boys enjoyed it so much that she read it to them three different times. Now they have an idea of what an orangutan is and are ready for their trip to the zoo.

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

The Center is a beautiful structure that appeals to the orangutans and humans as well. There are many areas for the orangutans to explore and interact with visitors…and interact, they do! Look at the smiles I got from this one.

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: All Smiles

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: All Smiles

When we arrived Rocky was exploring the Myrta Pulliam Hutan Trail. It is designed to represent the orangutans’ “highway” through the forest. The trail is a series of cables and bridges that allow the orangutans to travel 40 feet above the guests.

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center : TheHutan Trail

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center : TheHutan Trail

On his way back down Rocky enjoyed stopping and watching us as much as we enjoyed watching him.

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: Rocky

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: Rocky

Once inside the Center, we were able to look through large windows into the R.B. Annis Atrium. The orangutans can stay away from the windows to relax and hang out together or they can come up to the windows and interact with the visitors. They are so close you feel like you could just reach out and touch them. (And in some camera shots it looks like you just did.)

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

From the Community Plaza, you can view the front of the building. The front  is covered with large glass windows, from which you have another angle to view the orangutans.  We stood out there for a long time while the boys interacted with one of the orangutans.

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: Interacting with the orangutans

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: Interacting with the orangutans

One aspect of the Center, that we didn’t get to experience, is the Skyline. The Skyline is an aerial ride that travels around the outer edge of the exhibit. Visitors get an excellent view of the Hutan Trail as well as a gorgeous view of downtown. I’m looking forward to experiencing this.

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: The Skyline

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center: The Skyline

I can all ready tell that this is going to be one of my favorite exhibits at the zoo. I have a feeling that it’s going to be popular with many people. If you are a member, you have the opportunity of beating the crowds by accessing the Center an hour before the zoo opens. This exclusive benefit is available on Saturdays and Sundays. from May 24-Sept. 1, at 8:00 a.m.. Who knows, maybe I will see you there.

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center

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Bongo Boy Music School Review

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Bongo Boy Music School Review

Bongo Boy Music School

Bongo Boy Music School

I have been including activities from Bongo Boy Music School, in my Family Friendly Events, since April of 2013; but I had never been able to attend an event. I love children and finding fun learning activities for them, but the children in my life are under the age of three and Bongo Boy Music School didn’t have any activities for them. Well, that has changed! Recently, they added a class for birth to 36 months old. Perfect! My great-nephew is 32 months old and my grandson is 7 months old! I have really wanted to visit and, this past Saturday, I finally got my chance.

We were the first ones to arrive. We received a warm welcome and they turned on some cartoons to entertain the little ones until we got ready to go back to the drum room. There was also a little table and a bookshelf filled with books. We didn’t wait long at all and it was time to go have some fun.

The instructor/facilitator mentioned that she also teaches preschool…no wonder she was so wonderful with the children. She explained to us that there was no right or wrong way to participate. This is mainly an opportunity for little ones to experience music through instruments and movement.

The children were led through a series of fun activities accompanied by lively music. They got to use balls, bells and maracas, scarves, and….oh, yes…drums!

Drumming at Bongo Boy Music School

Drumming at Bongo Boy Music School

Some of the music was simply fun and encouraged movement, like the song about the animals. One song encouraged listening and reacting. This song had the children freeze in place when the music stopped.

Bongo Boy Music School

Bongo Boy Music School

Everyone was having fun, whether they were very young; sitting in their mother’s laps or a little older; up moving and participating. The children also get the opportunity to experience following directions, sharing and putting things away.

The cost of the event is just $5 per child and the parents attend (and participate) for free.
There is also an event for 3 to 12 year olds, on Saturdays. Bongo Boy also has activities for the family during the week. There is a free Community Drum Circle for special needs on Mondays and a free Community Drum Circle for the whole family on Thursdays. You can find their activities listed in my Family Friendly Event post, each month, or go straight to the Bongo Boy Music School calendar.

Related Posts:

Fun with Music: Percussion Instruments
Rhythm! Discovery Center: Review

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Community Helpers – Overview

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Community Helpers – Overview

Teaching your child about community helpers can help them understand and feel more secure in their ever widening world. Learning about community helpers can help them realize that they don’t need to be afraid when they hear sirens in the neighborhood or in the car. The sirens are signaling that there are people out there to help take care of them. Police officers are there to help us when there is an accident. Firemen help us if there is a fire. The doctor and dentist help keep us healthy and the school teacher helps us learn new things.

When I taught preschool, we studied community helpers in the three year old classroom. At home, you might want to introduce some of them even earlier; for instance, the doctor. Children have to go to the doctor regularly, from birth, so reading books and talking about the doctor may help put them at ease. Before my children went to their first dental appointment, I read books to them so they would understand what was going to happen.

In the following posts you will find book suggestions and crafts to do with your children to help make learning about their world fun. Enjoy playing pretend with your children as they become the doctor and you are the patient. Please come back and leave comments about the books and crafts you enjoyed together. I would love to see pictures too. You can share them on the Love to Laugh and Learn Facebook page.

Related Posts

Doctors: Love to Learn about Community Helpers
Dentists: Love to Laugh and Learn about Community Helpers

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Generally Having Fun with Music

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Generally Having Fun with Music

This post, Generally Having Fun with Music, is written in collaboration with Shannon Wijnker from Mamamusing. Shannon is a music teacher and mother of four.

It has been a lot of fun writing the posts “Fun with Music” in collaboration with Shannon. Our posts have covered the different instrument families. This final post, of the series, is about ways for your children to simply have fun with all kinds of music.

Shannon and I both agree that most learning for young children should come through play and experimentation. So dance around the room with your child, share your favorite songs from childhood or watch a musical together. Just generally have fun with music!

“If the parent values music, and makes it a part of their life, then their children will value music also.” – Shannon Wijnker

Shannon shared:

“Children learn best by constructing their own concepts and ideas, and by trial and error. They will learn how to create a variety of sounds. Some of which they will like and some they will decide they don’t. Your concept of what is acceptable sound may vary from theirs. But be patient and let them explore. Remember that it’s not just about making a beautiful sound, but playing and exploring the concept of sound.”

Contents:

Musical Sensory Bin
Musical Outings
Games Online
Another Resource: The Recorder Classroom
Story Time
Related Posts

Musical Sensory Bin

Shannon mentioned that the dollar store is a good place to pick up inexpensive instruments for the children to experiment with. Recorders are great choice. You can also find tambourines, kazoos, etc. I took Shannon’s advice and headed to the dollar store to pick up some instruments. I decided to create a musical sensory bin. I found several items in the party favor section and some in the toy section. I picked up a recorder and a toy microphone from the $1 bins at Target.

Items in my Musical Sensory Bin:

Beans (I bought at Dollar Tree)
Rice (I bought it at Costco. It was cheaper to get a big bag here rather than smaller ones
at the Dollar Tree.)
Hand Drums
Plastic Musical Clackers
Kazoos
Slide Whistles
Recorder
Microphone
Empty Plastic Containers (of all sizes)
Empty Oatmeal Box
Metal Spoons (I bought at Dollar Tree)
Empty Shoe Box
Rubber Bands
Plastic Easter Eggs

Generally Having Fun with Music

Generally Having Fun with Music

Jeremiah put beans and rice into different containers. We talked about the different sounds they made.

Generally Having Fun with Music

Generally Having Fun with Music

There were different types of whistles and kazoos for him to play with.

Generally Having Fun with Music

Generally Having Fun with Music

We stretched rubber bands around a box and listened to the different sounds they made when we plucked them.

Generally Having Fun with Music: Homemade String Instrument

Generally Having Fun with Music: Homemade String Instrument

The microphone was a big hit. Don’t forget that your voice is an instrument you take with you wherever you go. (Fun with Music: Voices)

Generally Having Fun with Music

Generally Having Fun with Music

Using the spoon to drum on the different containers was also fun.

Generally Having Fun with Music: A Little Drumming

Generally Having Fun with Music: A Little Drumming

Jeremiah was almost 2 years old when I created this Musical Sensory Box. As you can see, he really enjoyed it. He has played with it on more than one occasion and I’m sure he will play with it many more times. The one thing that I noticed is that some of the whistles didn’t work very well. I will probably replace and add some better quality instruments, as I get the money, but this was a good place to start. As we have made the crafts on the different Fun with Music posts, we have added them to the bin. This was a place to start and as his interests grow and change we can add to or switch out instruments.

Shannon also wants to remind us to help our children explore sound within their own environment:

“You can talk about sounds being high and low. You can talk about the timbre (the quality of sound – how we can tell mom’s voice from dad’s). Encourage your children to explore sounds with their bodies and other toys/things they can find in the house. You don’t have to go out any buy instruments to explore sound and music.”

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Musical Outings

In Indianapolis, you can find many places that give free outdoor concerts during the summer. Maybe you have the same opportunities in your area. Outdoor concerts are a great way to introduce your children to live music because they can sit in their own lawn chair, on a blanket or even get up and dance around a little. Expose your children to many types of music. Take the time to talk about what they are hearing, how it makes them feel and the different instruments they are seeing and hearing.

Shannon from Mamamusing wants you to know: “In London, there are several outdoor concerts and festivals in Victoria Park during the summer. One of the best is Sunfest (beginning of July). You can check out a video of my kids enjoying the multicultural music and dancing by clicking here.”

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Games Online

Now that you have introduced your children to some of the various instrument families
in the orchestra, you may want to visit The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. This
is a website created by Carnegie Hall which is a wonderfully FREE interactive online
game for young children to explore and learn more about the various instruments of the
orchestra. You will need to use a computer, because the game requires Adobe Flash,
which you can download for free (if you don’t already have this utility installed on your
computer).

There is also a wonderful set of books for children ages 4 to 9 years old that helps them learn different musical concepts. Along with the books the author, Sharon Burch, has a website with coloring pages and games for your child to enjoy and enhance their learning experience: Freddie the Frog Games and Coloring Pages.You can find more information about the books below in Story Time.

Another Resource recommended by Shannon from Mamamusing

“If you homeschool your children, a great resource for teaching them music (and how to play the recorder) is a magazine called “The Recorder Classroom”. I believe there are 4 issues printed so far. You can download both the music and accompanying mp3s online. They are fun to play and I find my students are motivated to learn the music, when they have great accompaniments to play along with.”

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Story Time – There were so many books that didn’t fall under any of our other posts so I have included them here. You should really check all of them out. I really enjoyed reading them and I’m sure you and your child will too.


Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 9 yrs old
This is an interesting look at the influences on a great musician. The book shares the many different sounds and experiences that John faced as he was growing up; listening to Daddy play the ukulele or to big bands on the radio. The essence of the story it that John heard and listened to many things that lead him on his path of becoming a Jazz Giant.

Freddie the Frog series by Sharon Burch
Reading Level: Ages 4 – 9 yrs old
This series was recommended by Shannon Wijnker from Mamamusing. She uses this series in her music classes. Shannon says, “A great series to start kids learning music concepts and theory is “Freddie the Frog”. These are cute stories with a hidden agenda. My students love these books and ask for them again and again!”

Through the series of books your child will learn the names of notes; they will learn about rhythm, beat and tempo. Each book comes with a CD that includes the dramatized story and sing-along songs.

Adventure #1 – Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night by Sharon Burch
Freddie the Frog lives on the island of Treble Clef, with his parents. Join him in his adventure as he searches the island for the source of the thump.

Adventure #2 – Freddie the Frog and the Bass Clef Monster by Sharon Burch
Freddie the Frog awakes from hibernation to find out that he is no longer at home, on Treble Clef Island.

Adventure #3 – Freddie the Frog and the Mysterious Wahooooo by Sharon Burch
Join Freddie the Frog and his best friend, Eli the Elephant, as they discover tempos, rhythms, and beats on Tempo Island. Your child will enjoy learning to play their percussion instruments to the rhythm and beat along with Eli and Freddie

Adventure #4 - Freddie the Frog and the Secret of Crater Island by Sharon Burch
Freddie and Eli take on a new adventure. They seek to find the secret on Crater Island, along with the Blue Beetle Bugs.

Adventure #5 – Freddie the Frog and the Flying Jazz Kitten by Sharon Burch
Join Freddie the Frog and the Flying Jazz Kitten, on Treble Clef Island, as Freddie becomes a jazz sensation. They will learn how to use an instrument they have with them all the time, their voice. Freddie and the Jazz Kitten help your child learn about scat singing.

Froggy Plays in the Band by Jonathan London
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 6 yrs old
Froggy sees a poster at school about a marching band contest and a big prize. When he asks his music teacher about it, she tells him to form a big band and practice, practice, practice. She helps Froggy and his friends as they work their hardest to become a great marching band. The one important thing the teacher tells them is, “Don’t stop for anything!” This is very good advice especially when they get to the end of the parade. Pick up this book and find out what happens to Froggy and his marching band when they didn’t stop for anything.

Instruments and Music by Daniel Nunn
Reading Level: Ages 4 – 8 yrs old
This book is a great introduction to instruments and music. Your child will get to see pictures of many different instruments; some will be familiar and some will seem strange. There are instruments from many countries. Your child will learn what materials the instruments are made of and how they produce sound. I believe any child interested in music and instruments will enjoy this book.

Jazz Baby by Carole Boston Weatherford
Reading Level: birth to 6 years old
This is simply a fun little book to introduce music and instruments to even the youngest “musician”. The text on each page starts with “Jazz baby, jazz baby” and then describes, in rhyme, some fun aspect of music; such as playing a horn or the drums. Your child will get to see children singing, dancing and playing instruments. I love this book. I think it’s absolutely adorable. I had to buy one for my grandson and one to have at my house.

Listen to My Trumpet! by Mo Willems
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
Piggie gets a trumpet and wants to show his friend Elephant what he can do on his trumpet. He blows and blows and all kinds of sounds come out of the horn, but is it music? Find out what Elephant has to say about Piggie’s playing and how Piggie responds.

Little Pig Joins the Band by David Hyde Costello
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 6 yrs old
Little Pig wants to play an instrument like the bigger pigs but he is just too small for any of them. He watches as everyone chooses an instrument and marches around. Little Pig watches each of them march in different directions and play different songs all at the same time. Once a big accident occurs, he realizes there is a job for him. Read this adorable book to find out how Little Pig helps out.

Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 8 yrs old
This is a fun and well written book that covers many of the instruments that can be found in an orchestra. There are simple explanations of what the instruments look like and how they are alike or different from each other. Your child will receive an explanation of what the instrument sounds like. The illustrations are quite fun. Each musician is an animal, which will appeal to the younger crowd. This book makes a great introduction to instruments and the orchestra.

Music Is by Lloyd Moss
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
This is an enjoyable book written in rhyme. It talks of all the fun ways music influences our lives. Lloyd Moss captures my feelings about music. It is a happy, important aspect of my life everyday. He talks of music when you wake up and music when you go to bed. Music for your birthday, 4th of July and to ring in the New Year. Music in an elevator and sometimes on a phone. Music fills our lives even when we aren’t paying attention. What would life be like without music?

Our Marching Band by Lloyd Moss
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
This is a fun little book about a group of kids that loved playing their instruments. The story starts with them getting the instrument that they each wanted. They each practiced and practiced their parts separately and although they sounded a little rough in the beginning the sounds they made together were much different. Read this inspiring tale of how dreams and practice turned them into a marching band.

The Orchestra by Mark Rubin & Alan Daniel
Reading Level: Ages 5 – 8 yrs old
This book is a wonderful introduction to music, instruments, musicians and the orchestra. It describes the different families of instruments in the orchestra: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Your child will even learn different terms related to music such as melody, harmony, rhythm and tempo. The book covers a lot in simple descriptions your child can understand. I highly recommend this book as an outstanding introduction to music.

The Orchestra (Culture in Action) by Liz Miles
Reading Level: Ages 8 and up
This is a children’s book, but as you can tell by the reading level, it is for a little older child. There is a lot of great information about the orchestra, music, musicians and composers. You could still use this with a younger child who has an interest in music because it is broken up into several different sections. Sometimes you will find more than one subheading on a page. The reason this is nice is that you can read a section or two at a time, to a young child, and save some for later. I wouldn’t use this book as an introduction to orchestras for a young child but it has much valuable information for a little older child.

The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin
Reading Level: Ages 4 – 8 yrs old
As I first read through this book I was going to discard it as possible reading material for my posts on music but I had second thoughts. It is a silly book. Understand I usually like silly but I was taking my posts on music a little too seriously so I wasn’t going to suggest this book. The book goes through each step the one hundred and five members of the Philharmonic go through in getting ready for their performance that evening. It starts with them bathing and showering and then getting dressed. Oh, and it has every detail of them getting dressed; from putting on their underwear, socks or hose all the way to putting on their tuxedos or dresses. The further I read and the more I thought about it, I changed my mind and decided this would be a good book to include with my posts on music. Although it does it in a silly way, your child will get to see that the musicians are regular people with families and pets. They have to get ready for their job like everyone else. Your child will get so see some of the instruments and the different size cases they get carried in. I believe your child will have fun with this light-hearted book about the Philharmonic.

The Recorder and Other Wind Instruments (Let’s Make Music) by Rita Storey
Reading Level: 6 yrs old and above
This book covers both types of wind instruments; woodwinds and brass. Your child will learn how the instruments are made and how they are played. It gives you examples of skills you will need to build to be able to play a wind instrument, like being able to blow out a long slow breath of air (without puffing out your cheeks). They will learn what it means to buzz your lips and how to do it. The illustrations are pictures of wind instruments and people playing them. Have fun learning about the many different wind instruments.

Saxophone Sam and His Snazzy Jazz Band by Christine M. Schneider
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
This is simply a “doo dilly dilly” silly book of two children and some sneaky jazz music. The music is calling but from where? Is it coming from the kitchen, the bathroom or from underneath the bed? Follow the children as they search for the music that is overtaking the house. They are having a toe tapping good time. After reading the book, or maybe even while you are reading the book, put on some jazz music and have some fun dancing to the “zoo zoo zing” once “the band is in full swing!”

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 10 yrs old
This book is not simply about a violin (as I thought), it is actually a musical counting book. Not counting as in tempos but as in the way you count musical group settings; such as a solo, a duet, a trio, etc.. The story is told in a fun rhyming text. Your child will be exposed to many different instruments as well as the varied names for the different sized musical groups. Although the story goes up to a group of ten, they only tell you the correct names up to nine. So if you are curious, a group of ten is called a dectet. Be sure to share this with your child to find out what the special names for all the groupings are.

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Related Posts

Music at an Early Age by Shannon at Mamamusing
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Fun with Music: Brass Instruments
Fun with Music: Woodwind Instruments
Fun with Music: Voices
Fun with Music: String Instruments
Fun with Music: Keyboards
Review: Rhythm! Discovery Center
Review: Peanut Butter and Jam Concerts
Bongo Boy Music School Review

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“The Nut Job” 3D Movie Review

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“The Nut Job” 3D Movie Review

Disclaimer: I was given 2 tickets to attend the screening of “The Nut Job”; however, I was not influenced by the promotional materials. All opinions and insights are my own.

The Nut Job Review

The Nut Job Review

When I received the screening invitation for “The Nut Job”, it came with this description, “In animated 3D, THE NUT JOB is an action-packed comedy that follows Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), a mischievous squirrel, who must plan a heist to get into his town’s biggest nut shop in order to help his pals in the park gather food to survive the winter. Together with his sidekick, Buddy, he will assemble a ragtag crew to help him get inside – and take them on a fun-filled adventure that they’ll never forget.”

I know some people will call me a prude but I was a little concerned about a children’s movie where the theme was stealing. I worry about the questions and lessons that a child might learn; such as, are they going to get the idea that sometimes it’s okay to steal things?

After seeing the movie, I wouldn’t change anything about it except maybe the way it is being promoted. I wouldn’t have promoted it as a heist. They wouldn’t even have to change the title because several of the characters are real “nut jobs”, which makes for a cute and funny film.

The storyline for the movie is about a group of animals that live in a park. They are trying to store up enough nuts for the winter but are falling short of their goal.

Surly, a squirrel, is a self-sufficient rogue. He would rather look out for himself and not depend or worry about anybody else. Regardless of his want for independence he has a faithful and silent friend, Buddy (a rat). Buddy is always there for Surly, no matter what.

Grayson, also a squirrel, is known as the park’s hero. It’s not clear how he received that title. Mostly he is a puffed up, neurotic fellow that talks big but is scared of his own shadow.

Andie is a female squirrel and, in my opinion, the actual heroine of the story. Andie tries to stand up for Surly when he gets banished from the park. She believes that there is good in everyone.

Because of an accident, caused by Surly, the park has lost what little it had stored away for the winter. Surly is sent away and Andie and Grayson are given the task of finding a food supply so the park animals don’t starve.

While making his way through the city, Surly runs across a Nut Shop. The Nut Shop is actually a front for the real bad guys of the movie; some mobster type guys. They are planning to rob the bank that is right next door to the Nut Shop they purchased. The men have no use for the nuts so the fact that Surly and the animals of the park need them does not bother my moral compass (maybe I’m simply justifying).

Surly plans on keeping all the nuts for himself and Buddy but Andie messes up that plan. She happens to run into Surly and discovers his secret. She makes a deal with Surly to split the nuts and now the real fun begins.

A rag-tag group of animals come together to help get the nuts from the shop. They are not the most organized group of animals which makes for lots of laughs. There is suspense, a double-cross, a police chase and did I mention laughs?…lots of laughs.

And be sure not to leave before the credits. You might want to get on your feet and dance…definitely worth the wait.

The Nut Job

The Nut Job

For more information and some fun games check out their webpage The Nut Job

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