Musical Free Play Fun for Kids - toddler and piano

Why is Playing Music Important for Kids?

Believe it or not, playing music helps kids (and adults) with complex cognitive tasks. It helps with math, complex problem solving, and even spatial skills. It also promotes finger dexterity, is relaxing, and a fun way to express oneself.


So while the very thought of a child playing on a recorder may turn you inside out, there is some complex stuff going on in that brain and some wonderful, playful development when they engage in musical free play. So put in your ear plugs and…




P.S. Remember–if you can’t beat ’em–join ’em!


These playful music activities are just the beginning. There are more activities on the It’s All Kid’s Play blog as well as Pinterest. And sometimes I share ideas on Twitter, too! Oh! And be sure to check out the book I wrote, too. It includes even more travel games as well as over 1,000 other play activities so no matter where you are and what your interests or age, there is something in there for you–guaranteed! Check it out!


Gargle a Song

Do you know how to gargle? Well, if you can, try gargling a song. It’s the best ever. Seriously. I could go on Canada’s Got Talent with these gargling skills. (Sure, I wouldn’t pass the first round… but that’s beside the point.)

Change the Lyrics to a Song

Know a great song, make up different lyrics and sing them along with the real song. People might think you’re crazy–or they might just join in.

Make Up Songs

You can use a tune from a song you know like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or you can make up your own tune for your song. If you can play an instrument, make up some music!

Sing “The Song that Never Ends”—Loudly

Never heard of it? let me introduce you. It goes like this:

This is the song that never ends.
It goes on and on my friend.
People started singing it, not knowing what it was.
Now they’re forever singing it because,
This is the song that never ends…(keep singing it over and over, and over… The record in our family is about 35 minutes. Again, if you can’t beat them, join them.)

Sing Every Song You Know

My roommate and I used to do this on a long gondola ride to work. We used to sing all the songs we knew from one band each ride because we discovered we knew a lot more songs than we realized!

Karaoke Contest with the Family
Lip Sync

Put on your favourite music and move your lips to the lyrics—but don’t actually sing out loud. You’re a rock star!

Air Band

An air band is a band that pretends that they are playing instruments and singing the lyrics to their favourite songs while they play on the radio, CD, or whatever. So, put on your favourite music and pretend that is your band playing. (You don’t need real instruments to pretend to play them. Ever heard of air guitar?)

P.S. Did you know there are actual air band contests?

Make and Play a Homemade Musical Instrument

There are lots of different instruments that are easy to make. An upside down pail can be a drum. A shoebox can be a guitar–stretch rubber bands over the opening.

What else can you make?

A Mixed CD / Playlist of Your Favourite Songs 

What are you favourite songs? Make a mixed CD or playlist.

Up Your Own Dance Routine 

Put on some good dancing music and let loose.

Water Music

Take several water glasses and add different amounts of water to each glass. Tap the glasses lightly with a metal spoon. The different water levels will make different tones. If you are musical, see if you can play a song you know. You can also use a wooden spoon–does it sound different?

Make a Wineglass Sing

Place an empty wineglass or other thin-lipped piece of glassware on the table and wet your finger. Slowly and gently, run your finger along the top of the rim, going around the whole glass, over and over. Try using more and less pressure to see if you can get the glass to sing. It will be a high-pitched, vibrating sound. It’s pretty cool!

Try it with water in the glass as well as cold from ice cubes. Does it still work? Does it sound different? Experiment.

Listen to Music

Kick back, relax, listen to music. Listen to all the layers. The voices, the beat, the drums, the guitar, the piano, the violin. See if you can hear each different instrument and follow their piece of the song throughout. It’s pretty cool how it all comes together!

Listen to New Music

Tune into a radio station that you don’t normally listen to. You never know, you just might like this new stuff.

Play an Instrument
Learn to Play a New Instrument


Looking for more? Try these places as well:

+ More Musical Fun From the Blog

+ Play Activities Home Page

+ More on Pinterest

Might I also suggest this time-saver…

Get the Book: 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas for families and kids.

Never be bored again! All of this website’s great content and MORE!

Affordably available in ebook from these online retailers:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU
Barnes and Noble

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