Get Outside the Orchestra: Music Activities with Sidewalk Chalk

You don’t have to purchase any fancy equipment to teach your children about music. With a little sidewalk chalk and some imagination you can reinforce musical concepts with your little ones while enjoying the summer weather.

Giant Chalk Keyboard

We love this activity from And Next Comes L, a music-focused parenting blog. Start by drawing a giant keyboard on your sidewalk or driveway. From there, you’ll find dozens of ways to play and explore.

Child playing on chalk keyboard

There are so many fun ways to play! Here are a few suggestions:

  • “Have your kids walk along each key and say the letter names.
  • Call out a letter name to your child and have them jump on the key that has that letter.
  • Have your child do patterns by calling out letter names and having them repeat it back by stepping on the keys that have those letters.
  • Sing the letter names starting at the lowest C all the way up to practice pitch and range (i.e., they should sing higher as they go up or lower as they come down)
  • Count the number of keys.
  • Skip over notes on the keyboard.  Great time to talk about intervals, or distance between notes, but in beginner piano, they are usually called skips.
  • Have your child write the letter names on each piano key.”

Musical Hopscotch

Musical hopscotch gives kids a chance to release some energy while reinforcing musical concepts like rhythm or pitch. Outline a hopscotch board on the ground with different note values in each box. Use a metronome or clap your hands to set the tempo and have your child hop along the course following the rhythm.

Charts like these can help get you started. These were designed as “finger hopscotch” boards but can be easily adapted for outdoor play.

For children who are a bit more musically advanced, consider creating a similar hopscotch board all about solfege. “Solfege is a music education method used to teach aural skills, pitch, and sight-reading. Syllables are assigned to the notes of the scale and enable the musician to mentally hear the pitches of a piece of music and then to sing them aloud.”

Watch as this little girl explains how it’s done. Again, this game was developed for a tabletop but can easily be translated into sidewalk chalk.

Have you tried any of the activities listed here? We would love to hear about your experience. Let us know what your children enjoyed in the comments below.

As always, you can find more information about these and other outdoor music activities on our Pinterest page. Happy chalking!

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