There are a variety of ways you can use musical instruments in the classroom.

Create a music center and try adding…

  • Baskets of musical instruments
  • A CD Player
  • A pretend microphone
  • A mirror
  • A little platform for a stage (square)
  • Posters and books about music, composers, notes, and nursery rhymes.
  • Staple together little books of notation paper and add drawing tools for children to create their own songs.
  • Baskets of movement props like paper plates, ribbon sticks, and scarves.
  • Home made instruments: Check out these awesome homemade drums and drumming activities from Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning!
  • See this music book from Fleet of Fun
Music Box

Create a music box. Choose a different type of instrument to put in the music box each week. If you choose to use a music box – make sure you have plenty of instruments to go around because it will be a big hit.

Rhythm Stick



In your circle time, add musical instruments to a familiar song. Here are a few examples:

  • Add a rainstick to the song “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  Let the children shake the rain stick back and forth to make the sound of the rain.
  • Add a rythm stick for tapping noises to songs like “Johnny Works with One Hammer” or “One Little Hammer Went Tap Tap Tap!”
  • Add instruments to songs like … “If you’re happy and you know it” (ring a bell) (tap a drum) (shake a maraca).
Telling stories

Try adding musical sound effects when retelling favorite stories or making up new ones.  For example, “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear?  I hear a tambourine shaking in my ear!”

Instead of children telling you a story – try having them dictate to you a song.


Instrument Games
Play an instrument and see if the children can guess what it is.
How else do you use musical instruments in your classroom?