New Music Apps, Toys & DIY Instruments for Kids
On a rainy day, the whine of ‘I’m bored!’ is the last thing you want to hear on repeat. Especially when there’s a much better noise your kids could be making: the sound of music!
As a form of communication, music and dance are crucial for kids’ development. The host of other benefits include getting physically active by having a boogie or enhancing their mood whether to cheer, calm or soothe.
Luckily for tired parents, there are heaps of apps, websites and ideas out there. From brain training to getting the creative juices flowing, they won’t only captivate your kiddies’ attention but come with all sorts of learning benefits too.
Bright and cheerful with just the right amount of absurd, Loopimal introduces younger kids to the world of music with animal illustrations. There’s no right or wrong way to explore making melodies, sequences and different funky rhythms.
Hosted by familiar faces like Elmo and Cookie Monster, children can learn about musical timing and different instruments by playing along to their favourite nursery rhymes.
Whether you have a real keyboard or not, this app is the perfect sidekick for ivory-tickling kids. Chase the notes to play all-time fave hits ranging from Taylor Swift to Vivaldi.
With a friendly element of fun, this school helps older children learn about the more academic side of music, from famous composers to even reading sheet music. Kids who used the app scored 20% higher in their music theory tests after three weeks of study.
BEST FREE WEBSITES
The Wiggles YouTube channel - these iconic Aussie kids’ entertainers need no introduction. If anyone can encourage your young ones to have a dance and a sing along, it’s this lot.
Ultimate Guitar - a giant community that transforms any song into chords. Take the guesswork out and get stuck into strumming instead.
Chrome Music Lab - kids aged five and up will love clicking on the grid to compose their own songs. By mixing up the instruments, they can learn about different sounds too.
CODING + MUSIC = A MATCH MADE IN TOY HEAVEN
Learning to code is a neat way to keep your kids’ education ahead of the curve. Since it uses similar parts of the brain to creating music, why not combine the two?
From STEM inspired programming, to games consoles, to robots, lots of kids’ toys already using different aspects of coding. The possibilities are infinite, but one of the most compelling for kids is being able to make music.
As well as boosting creativity, coding feeds curiosity, improves logical thinking and gives younger ones more confidence to problem solve. From sweet beats to creating tunes from scratch, kids follow simple steps and stories to use ‘typed’ or ‘block’ code. Then, the only limit is their imagination!
When it comes to keeping kids busy, you don’t need to spend a fortune on pricey instruments. In fact, you might be surprised how many wannabe music-makers you have lying around the house. By the time you’ve made the instrument together and taught your kids how to play it, you’ll have them entertained for hours.
Cans and spoons
It really doesn’t take much to start a band. Run an old spoon up a ridged tin can to create a great, textured sound. Or if you’ve got any soda cans, fill them with dried beans or uncooked rice then tape over the open tab to make your own shaker. Now, all you need is a lead singer.
Glue old coins or washers to the edge of paper plates to create some crashing cymbals. For extra finesse, paint the plates yellow and craft a ribbon strap in the centre for easy grip.
Stick two cereal boxes together and cut a plate-sized hole in one. Then, stretch some elastic bands across as ‘strings’ to craft a DIY fiddle.
With all sorts of craft tips and technology at your fingertips, you’ll have a mini musician in the making in no time at all. And remember, music is about connecting and bringing people together, so getting involved and being a member of the band is all part of the fun. Enjoy!