Rhythm in the Yard

I am constantly evaluating the learning environment as I observe the children at play.  I make notes of things I’d like to add, remove or modify.  Sometimes I can make the necessary changes easily, other times they take longer.

Bringing elements of music and rhythm to the outdoor play space has been one of my goals.  It started a few years ago when my husband ‘rescued’ two large barrels made of heavy cardboard with a tin base.  We lay these barrels on the deck and the children used them as animal dens, train sheds or other type of shelter that suited their interests.

When not in use these barrels were stored upside down in a sheltered area on the side of the deck to prolong their life.  It was here that it began when one of the children discovered the sound that could be made when they banged on the tin end of the barrel.

Over time the cardboard barrels disintegrated but we kept the end caps – painted them, and attached them to the fence.  Playing these ‘drums’ has been a favourite activity for the children.

Since then I have added some other outdoor sound items like the wind chimes and the windmill which when the wind is right makes a unique sound as it flaps against the cedars.

The children have been busy creating instruments of their own.  With sticks, pails, tubes and more the combinations are as endless as their imaginations.

I was particularly impressed when they experimented with adding various amounts of gravel to this flexible tube and adjusted the placement to achieve an assortment of  different sounds.

One thing is certain – the yard is never quiet.

What do you think?

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