Starting Music Lessons with a Two-Year-Old: 12 Activities for Toddlers
by Mandy Lining & Samantha Young | June 10, 2018
Music Lessons for Two-Year-Olds
Two-year-olds love music!! Musical activities are perfect at this age for teaching turn-taking, responsibilities, rhythm and gross motor control. With a whole range of options, your two-year-old will have plenty of musical activities to keep them busy this week! They’ll be movin’ and groovin’ to “Walk Around” and flying like a bumble bee with the classical piece “Flight of the Bumble Bee”! So get down on their level and have fun teaching music with these 12 musical activities!
1. DIY Instruments–Under Parent or Teacher Supervision
As I’m sure your toddler has already discovered, anything can be a musical instrument. Bang together two paper plates like cymbals; make sleigh bells out of a cardboard tube & jingle bells; create a coffee can drum using a balloon and some packaging tape; or design an outdoor music station to make your backyard come alive with music! Your two-year-old will love these super simple and fun DIY instruments! Model a steady beat for your toddler or play music for him or her to play along with! *Please note that some of these projects contain small pieces like jingle bells balloons, and could be a choking hazard for young children if left unsupervised. Remember to play safely and always double check that the components of these instruments are strongly secured.*
Two-year-olds learn new things every day! Get a jump on teaching colors, numbers, Solfege names and sounds using the Prodigies deskbells. Make up songs about the numbers, colors, numbers and Solfege names that go along with each bell. Encourage your toddler to make up their own songs about each bell. Play games with your deskbells like Hide and Seek! Hide your bells around the house to create a fun hide-and-seek game! Once they find a bell, let them play it! Tell them which bell it is (do, re, mi, etc). You can also review the colors of each bell as well as the corresponding numbers. This is a great game for reviewing their colors and numbers while familiarizing them with the pitch of each bell.
- Do – Red
- Re – Orange
- Mi – Yellow
- Fa – Green
- Sol – Teal
- La – Purple
- Ti – Pink
- High Do – Red
It seems that my child is always dancing! Yours probably is, too! Make their dancing even more fun by giving them an over-sized shirt or dancing cape! Not sure what music to choose for your daily dance party? Every kid loves the FREEZE song by Steve and Greg. This is perfect rhythm practice for two-year-olds. They can dance to their favorite children’s music or classical music. One of my son’s favorite dancing music is Music Animation Machine by Smalin. This Youtube channel creates a colorful and animated score to go along with classical songs. Check out this playlist!
4. First Classical Music Book
It’s never too early to teach your children classical music! My First Classical Music Book is a colorful introduction to classical music and, best of all, it comes with an accompanying audio CD! This book brings to life each of the major composers and musical instrument families with fun, full-colored illustrations. While a good portion of this book is geared toward children a bit older, it’s still an excellent book that will grow with your child as you introduce them to the world of classical music. We received this as a Christmas gift and fell in love with it!
5. Music and Movement
Walk Around, The Tooty Ta, Stand Up, Sit Down and other following directions songs are a great way to help two-year-olds use music and movement to learn. This kind of music and movement allows children to develop their gross motor control, sense of rhythm, and listening skills.
6. Flight of the Bumblebee
“The Flight of the Bumblebee” is a fun classical piece to introduce to toddlers! Because it sounds like a buzzing bumblebee, your little one can pretend to be a bee and fly around the room while listening. There are several great ideas for activities from And Next Comes L that you can use while teaching and listening to this classical piece! One of my favorite activities is making bumblebees from pool noodles and then flying them around while listening to the song. Encourage your toddler to match the intensity of the song by flying their bumblebee fast or slow.
7. Preschool Prodigies
While your two-year-old probably may not be ready to dive into the teaching concepts in the Prodigies Playground, and you have to be super careful about screen time, there is still benefit to be had in a Prodigies membership. When Boo was 25 months, his favorite segments were C Major Pipes, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, 3 Little Birds, and a handful of songs from the Top 40 section of the playground. Even though we hadn’t officially “begun” and started going through the videos in order, Boo was already pretty familiar with the songs, and had learned his pitches through our meaningful play with pitch. He could even play out of the songbook if you pointed to the bell on the page and then he would play his bell. The timing wasn’t there yet, but he could associate the pitch with the song. He also loved Sweet Beets, Snow Day, and Jingle Bells. As long as you’re intentional about meaningful play with pitch, learning the sound of the bells, and doing short Prodigies videos along with your child (we wouldn’t recommend more than 1-2 songs at a time), you can make a Prodigies membership into something very special even for a two-year-old.
Introduce your child to high information music from Nuryl. This app contains curated music selections specifically for your toddler’s age group! Nuryl’s music is designed to enrich your child’s sense of pitch and harmony. This app that Mr. Rob uses with his own daughter works best with kids under 2, but it is great for children up to 6. Check out www.nuryl.com for more great information like what’s listed below:
How Does Nuryl work?
We use a highly complex form of music, we call High Information Music™, to jumpstart your baby’s brain development. The Nuryl catalog features one-of-a-kind musical pieces specifically designed with this task in mind. At Nuryl, we integrate these musical pieces into daily lessons using the exact same method that our Co-Founder Rick Beato used with his son Dylan starting at 5 months prenatal. The results with Dylan and following children have been astounding.
9. Toca Band
Toca Band is a fun app for kids that allows them to build a band with various instruments, voices and characters. If you allow your toddler to indulge in a small amount of supervised screen time, Toca Band is a fun way for you both to enjoy your toddler’s natural affinity for music production.
Every toddler needs a set of boomwhackers! These colorful, pitched tubes help toddlers develop their gross motor control, memorize colors & letters, and practice their sense of rhythm. What makes these even better than your typical percussion instrument, is that they are pitched and match the same notes as the deskbells. Try incorporating them when you do The Tooty Ta or another following directions song; play a call and response game with your child; or have a light saber duel with the notes that make up each chord!
11. Prodigies Deskbells App
Our free Prodigies Deskbells app gives you access to our colorful deskbells on the go! Your toddler can play the bells wherever they are just as if they were sitting in front of him or her. Use the features of the app to limit the bells to single note or three- note practice or enhance the bells by adding octave extensions or sharps and flats. Use the app to make up songs, play call and response games, play along with the radio or quiz your toddler on note names, color and numbers.
12. Playtime Prodigies
Coming Soon to the Prodigies Playground: PLAYTIME PRODIGIES! Stay tuned for a crazy awesome update to the Playground for our littlest fans! Playtime will be a simpler, slower series intended for children around age two. Playtime Prodigies will teach children note names, numbers, letters, colors & simple rhythms, while giving children meaningful exposure to pitch and individual notes during those early, critical years.