How to Create Music Using the Gifts of Nature

“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey…” There’s no need to be California Dreamin’ because we can create our own music on the playground! You can explore percussion materials by finding natural playground objects with which to try out sound, rhythm, pattern, volume, and much more.

  1. Everything is a drum. Children love playing with sticks, right? So often we are telling them, “Drop the sticks!” “Put that down!” “Stop swinging that!” This is a time for us to take a deep breath, and redirect the stick exploration toward making sounds! What do different objects sound like as drums? What is the difference in sound when I use my hand or a stick to hit the ground or a fence? Compare the sounds of banging on rocks, tree trunks, and the side of the building.
  2. Shake, shake, shake. What can you find outside that makes a fun sound when you shake it? You may be lucky enough to have seed pods that shake well, but if not, grab a jar or container and see what you can put inside. How do acorns sound compared to pebbles? What about a mixture of both?
  3. Crunch it up. Hay and leaves make great noises! Go big and jump in a pile, or think tiny and crinkle and crunch with your fingers. What else makes crunchy sounds?

Share What You Have Learned in the Outdoor Classroom!

There are plenty of questions to further children’s investigations:

  • What noise will this make?
  • What does this sound like?
  • Does it sound like something you’ve heard before?
  • How can we use these sounds as music?
  • What songs can we sing with these sounds?

Complement Nature’s Orchestra, With Outdoor Musical Instruments

Explore these heavy-duty toddler and preschool playground musical instruments.

  • Chimes
  • Xylophones
  • Drums

Children playing outdoor drums, xylophone, and chime panel on the playground

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We strive to create fun and informative content that will help young children learn and grow. However, it's important to keep in mind that all activities should be performed under the supervision of an adult. The Adventurous Child website is intended to serve as a reference and guidance for educational activities, and it is ultimately the responsibility of the parent, guardian, and/or educator to determine the appropriateness of the activity for their child’s age and maturity level. Thank you for your understanding and support!