This holiday season we decided to turn it over to a music expert, our friend Daria from World Music for Children, for some great kids music activities. We’re excited to take a peek at Daria’s Jingle Bells e-book, which features 4 jingly DIY instruments that can be made from recycled materials. The best news? The Jingle Bells book is a FREE download for the month of December!
We pretty much love everything about this little holiday book. From fine motor skills to gross motor skills to auditory processing to accessibility for kids with special needs – Daria’s got you covered. The pages are super easy to read, listing out the supplies and materials you’ll need (don’t worry – they’re all things you probably have laying around the house already!) and simple step-by-step instructions for how to make each instrument.
As a therapist, I love the way the four projects have varying levels of difficulty – some require more advanced fine motor skills while others might appeal to younger kids or kids who struggle with manipulation and coordination. And the finished products? Perfect for all ages and ability levels (obviously beware of babies with jingle bells though!). Even kids with the most severe physical challenges can wear one of the Jingle Bracelets for a holiday singalong!
And Daria’s playing suggestions for the instruments totally rock. Literally! Below are some of Daria’s suggestions for rocking out with your jingle bell instruments!
-Try one of your favorite holiday songs slowly, then try the same song quickly, keeping the beat with the jingle tube.
-Close your eyes and shake the jingle tube along with the beat while holiday music is playing. Mom, parent or teacher turns off the music randomly and the kids must stop at exactly the same time as the music does!
-Try tapping the jingle stick on the floor while marching and use that sound to keep the beat of the song.
-Try using the jingle stick like a baton to lead a parade!
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP: Here are some of our suggestions for targeting specific motor skills as you jingle along to your favorite song!
-Have kids stand up and hold their jingle instruments with both hands together. Prompt them to shake their bells high up in the air and then down low by their feet. Continuing to hold the instruments with two hands, have them reach and shake their bells on each side of their body (crossing midline) to the music.
-Challenge balance and coordination by having kids stand with one leg lifted in front, passing their jingle bells underneath, and then switching to the other leg. Repeat in an alternating pattern.
-Show them how to pass their instruments around their body in a circle repeatedly, transferring from one hand to another behind their backs. Then in the opposite direction!
-Have kids stand in a line and pass the jingle bell instrument down the line in different ways: over their heads, through their legs. Have them stand side to side and pass the instrument to the person next to them with both hands (crossing midline). See how fast they can get the instrument from the beginning of the line to the end!
ABOUT DARIA MARMALUK-HAJIOANNOU:
World Music children’s performer, Daria, has spent the last two decades performing in the USA and around the world, creating music to inspire the world’s children. Along with national awards for her culturally diverse music, Daria’s website, World Music For Children received a 2009 Parent’s Choice Award and offers many great resources for teachers, parents and kids of all abilities. You can find Daria’s music, musical crafts and e-books on her TeachersPay Teachers site or at her Little Village Store.
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