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Children's songs and art make music fun

Children can create artistic props to enhance songs.
Tania Cowling

Children are natural musicians and will express themselves in a variety of creative ways when given the opportunity. Props can enhance movement and enjoyment of the song. These items can also aid in making children less inhibited. Story props can help provide an understanding of the context of a song using masks and clothing accessories. If the changes of tempo, mood, and dynamics are to be emphasized, try using musical instruments, scarves, and streamers. Even artwork such as painting and drawing provide an outlet for expression and enjoyment of a song.

Below are a few ideas to enhance popular childhood songs:

One Elephant

One elephant went out to play,

All on a spider's web one day,

He had such enormous fun,

He called for another elephant to come.

This song has been sung in French by performers, Sharon, Lois and Braum, "One Elephant, Deux Elephant."

Make an Elephant Mask as a Prop: Use a paper plate, color or paint it gray. Attach a set of construction paper floppy ears and an accordion pleated trunk. Draw facial features and attach a wooden craft stick to the back to hold the mask over the child's face.

On Top Of Spaghetti

On top of spaghetti,

All covered with cheese,

I lost my poor meatball,

When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,

And onto the floor,

And then my poor meatball,

Rolled out of the door.

Make Pasta People: Provide different shapes of uncooked pasta to the children. Have fun creating pasta people gluing the shapes together onto construction paper. Give your "pasta people" special names like Rotini Ralph or Zachary Ziti.

When The Saints Come Marching In

Oh, when the saints go marching in,

Oh, when the saints go marching in.

I want to be in that number,

When the saints go marching in.

Create a Homemade Kazoo: Decorate a cardboard tube (toilet roll) with colorful markers and stickers. Cover one end with waxed paper, held in place with a rubber band. Hum loudly into the open end to make sounds. March around the room singing this adapted song.

Oh, when we play our made kazoo,

Oh, when we play our made kazoo,

We want to hum in that rhythm,

When we play our made kazoo!

Photo courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved.

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