Environmental Percussion






Environmental percussion are found sounds that are made from anything in the natural or man-made environment that can be safely banged together, shaken, scraped, blown into, clicked, rattled, tapped, rung, crumpled…

Found sound ideas from home: Pots and pans; spoons, yogurt containers, tins, buckets, steel bowls, hand beater; plastic bottles and fillers – split peas, rice, peppercorns, lentils, small pebbles; rubber bands; soft drink cans, shell necklaces, PVC down pipe…


Found sound ideas from the environment: Sticks; stones; pebbles; shells; drift wood; bamboo; coconut shells…

How to Play Environmental Percussion:

  • Bang together – sauce pan lids, 2 card board tubes, driftwood, sticks, pine cones
  • Shaken or rattled: plastic bottles filled with split peas, rice, peppercorns, lentils; small pebbles, sand, crushed shells or small shells. Make sure bottles are securely taped or fastened

Plastic shaker     Small Stones     Rice    Crushed shells

  • Scraped against – corrugated card board and a finger or back end of a pencil.
  • Blown into – a plastic bottle with a narrow neck, bamboo stick, shell
  • Clicked – click 2 stones together.
  • Plucked – a rubber band stretched over an empty tissue box
  • Rung – a bicycle bell
  • Crumpled – dry leaves can be scrunched in hands or under foot.

Common sense is required in regard to the environmental sounds you let children play with. Please be aware of found sounds that are too small and may cause choking.
Use found sound that fit children’s hands.

Environmental Percussion Treasure Hunt

Use a bag or bucket and collect objects in the environment that could be used to make percussive sounds:

  • Explore your back yard
  • Your neighborhood
  • The Park
  • The Beach
  • The Farm


Environmental Percussion Challenges:

Children play their found sound to the count of 4

# # # #


1 2 3 4

  • Teacher points to the symbols or the numbers (depending on the child’s age) to an even beat (steady pulse). Keep repeating the line without waiting at the end of the line (so you are keeping a steady beat). To start the teacher says “1, 2, 3, 4 go.”
  • Keep playing the found sound instruments in time and sing a song over the pattern e.g. Mary had a Little Lamb; Hey Baby Let’s Rock and Roll; Reach up High.
  • This time choose one of the symbols or one of the numbers and make it louder e.g.

# # # #


1 2 3 4

Make one of the symbols or numbers a soft sound e.g.

Make a silent beat – (keep the sound quiet and only play it inside your head) e.g.

# # #


1 3 4

Double on of the symbols or numbers to make two quick sounds e.g.

# # ## #

1 2 33 4

Let a child be a conductor – remember the conductor has to point to each symbol or number at an even pace. The conductor can use a sparkly wand or chop stick. To start the conductor needs to say “1, 2, 3, 4 go.”

What combinations can you come up with?

Untuned Percussion






Untuned percussion instruments have no notes of definite pitch.

They offer a great variety of tone colour (timbre) but tunes cannot be played on them.

Examples of untuned percussion instruments:

  • Maracas
  • Tambourine
  • Castanets
  • Sleigh bells
  • Wood block
  • Guiro
  • Finger cymbals
  • Bongos
  • Rhythm sticks (claves)
  • Triangles


Common Sense Rules for Using Instruments:

It’s great to have a variety of untuned percussion instruments for children to play and experiment with to find out how many sounds they can create!

Children should understand how to handle and care for the instruments to ensure longevity.

Playing Untuned Percussion Instruments Will Add Zest to Music Lessons and Music Activities:

  • Play the beat or rhythm to a piece of music or song.
  • Play while singing a Love to Sing song.
  • Loud and soft sounds and fast and slow sounds can be explored.
  • Describe content of a poem or song by playing an instrument e.g. Old MacDonald Had a Farm – play different instruments to represent the different animal sounds for each verse (click teachers tab).
  • Play an ostinato e.g. My Hatsummer, autumn, winter and spring – play throughout each verse (click teachers tab).
  • Play to stimulate movement (click teachers tab)
  • Play to create a focus for listening e.g. learn to recognize the sound of each instrument; choose an instrument to match the lyrics or mood of the song.
  • Play crescendo (increase in loudness) and decrescendo (gradually becoming softer).
  • Create an orchestra and play!



Little Action Kids

The new kids on the block Little Action Kids has just launched their brand new kids channel with popular Christmas songs. Little Action Kids has teamed up with Love to Sing and they use our music, helping to make their 3D animations the BEST! 

Excellent Christmas songs to perform with super easy actions 💕 Can you spot the hidden Christmas present in each video? Look carefully…


We Wish You a Merry Christmas: Free Printable Lyrics and Learning Activities


Jingle Bell Rock: Free Printable Lyrics and Learning Activities 


Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney: Free Printable Lyrics and Learning Activities 


Twelve Days of Christmas: Free Printable Lyrics and Learning Activities


He Has a Red Red Coat: Free Printable Lyrics and Learning Activities


Five Mince Pies: Free Printable Lyrics and Learning Activities


🌟 Subscribe now for more fun kids songs

💕 Watch out for new kids songs every Wednesday and Friday





Fitness for Kids

Let’s get our children involved in physical activity NOW!!

It is a sad reflection of our current life-style that 1 in 4 children are overweight and 1 in 7 children are obese.

“Over eating is not the main cause of child obesity,” says an Auckland specialist, Dr Wayne Cutfield

“There has been a change from physical activities for children to sedentary activities.”

The sedentary lifestyle is due to television, PlayStation, computer games and the internet. Unfortunately, we are moving into a much more technologically sophisticated era that involves a lot more computer and sedentary activity.

Children need at least an hour of exercise a day where they get a bit of a sweat up!

Physical activity can:

  • Increase feeling of well-being
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Develop a strong, efficient heart
  • Provide more energy
  • Assist with weight control
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Provides enjoyment/fun
  • Increase alertness/concentration
  • Improve flexibility
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Increase muscle tone
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve sleep
  • Increase self confidence
  • Improve your posture
  • Help you relax
  • Develop strong bones
  • Improve your appearance

Check out our amazing Hearty Fun Fitness Programme – endorsed by the heart foundation and Hearty Fun Skipping Programme both of these resources for kids are guaranteed to get children moving, grooving and exercising to get their heart rate up!

If you need inspiration for fitness songs for kids look no further… here is a selection of our best kids action songs

Like this post? Check out our top kids dance songs


Learn English Through Singing Songs

So why does it help to sing songs when learning a language?

“Learning English through songs provides a non-threatening atmosphere for students who usually are tense when speaking English in a formal classroom setting.”
– Lo and Fai Li

  • Songs offer a change from routine classroom activities
  • Songs help to develop students abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing
  • Songs can be used to teach a variety of language skills such as sentence patterns, vocabulary and pronunciation
  • Songs can give insight into culture
  • Songs are highly memorable
  • Songs are motivating
  • Songs help teach the prosodic (speech rhythms) features of the language such as stress, rhythm and intonation.
  • Songs help teach English grammar e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives etc.

The English Language

Interesting Facts:

  • It has a total of 1,025,109.8 words (This is the estimate by the Global Language Monitor on January 1, 2014).
  • 2,000 words make up 90% of most speech
  • 400 words make up 65% of most writing
  • The alphabet has 26 letters and only 44 sounds
  • 50% of the words are phonetic e.g. bat 50% are not phonetic e.g. once
  • There are only 70 main spelling combinations
  • It’s an official language in seventy-nine countries and territories.

Hello Song Lesson Plan

Learning Outcome
Children will:
– Learn the English words and meaning associated with the song

Focus On
– Skills
– English greetings

– Good morning
– Good afternoon
– Good evening
– Hi

– Teacher should be familiar with the song and the actions

Hello, nice day, run, play, talk, dance, sing, jump, swing, laugh, poke a face, friends, place

Teaching/Learning Sequence

Warm Up
Singing Name Game
– Children sit in a circle
– Each child has a turn to sing his/her name to a tune of their choice e.g. My name is Tessa
– All the other children echo by singing back – Your name is Tessa

New Song
– Listen to the Hello Nice Day
– Children join in with the ‘echo’ part
– Children join in with the actions
– Children face a partner and sing and dance the actions

In the song lyrics what activities do the children like to do together?

Extension Ideas
Ask children
– Do you have a friend?
– What is your friend’s name?
– What do you like about your friend?
– How does your friend make you feel?
– What does your friend look like?
– What activities do you like to do with your friend?

Hello Around the World

Top Ten Kids Dance Songs

Children can learn a lot about music by just moving to it. A child’s large gross motor muscles are the first children learn to coordinate (arms, legs, trunk and head) and walking has been shown to be the best way a child can move to first feel the beat.
Running, skipping, galloping, tiptoeing, walking like a stiff robot, walking sideways, backwards, making fingers walk up your other arm, all these and more create different rhythm patterns that can be super imposed upon the beat of recorded music or percussion beat. Nothing develops a child’s rhythmical sense like movement does!

Here are ten of Love to Sing’s favourite dancing songs:

1. Hey Baby Let’s Rock and Roll

2. My Mum Loves to Rock and Roll

3. Hokey Tokey

4. Johnny Bear

5. Get Down and Boogie

6. Rocking Hippos

7. Tick Tock Clocks

8. Bye Have a Happy Day

9. Boomps a Daisy

10. Tofa Tafa Reach Up High

Don’t forget to sing along as well!