Monday, May 20, 2013

Giant Chalk Keyboard {Music Activities for Kids}

I have two very active boys who know their alphabet and I have learned that by simply adding letters or numbers to any craft or activity, J and K are more likely to enjoy the activity.  As part of our music theme, I thought it would be fun to draw out a large piano keyboard for them.  I also had four goals in mind: (1) get the boys to blow off some of their energy, (2) help them learn the musical alphabet, (3) help them learn what the different keys on the piano look like, and (4) get outside to enjoy the wonderful warm weather.  Well, this activity does all that, plus more!  J practiced some writing skills, counting skills, and shape identification.

Learn about music with this giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

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Music Activities for Kids: Draw a Giant Keyboard Out of Chalk

To recreate this activity, simply draw a large piano keyboard using sidewalk chalk on a driveway or sidewalk.  I drew two full octaves (or the musical alphabet twice for those unfamiliar with music terminology).  The musical alphabet is made simply of seven letters: A-B-C-D-E-F-G.  So if you have a toddler or preschooler just learning their letters, this activity won't overwhelm them with all 26 letters.

The keyboard alone was not enough to hold their attention, just as I figured.  However, once I wrote all the note names on the keyboard, the boys were so excited.  It was like hopscotch, ABCs, and a piano all rolled into one!

Giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

Outdoor music play for kids using a giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

There were so many fun ways to play, including:
  • Walking along each key and saying 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

And now it's time for the pictures of the cute kids!

Outdoor music play for kids using a giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

Learn about music with this giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

Outdoor music play for kids using a giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

J practiced some skips on the keyboard by finding the letters I called out, such as "A to C."

Learn about music with this giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

Here's J jumping from one piano key to the next.

Jumping on a giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

Jumping on a giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

J also practiced his counting and writing skills by numbering the piano keys.

Writing on a giant chalk keyboard from And Next Comes L

This keyboard was such a hit and I think J is really starting to pick up on the keyboard's layout.  Maybe piano lessons (taught by me, of course!) won't be far behind.  

Other Ideas You'll Love




This post was part of the "Music Fun for Your Little One" series.  Check out all the posts in this series:

Four Music Games for Toddlers & Preschoolers {And Next Comes L}
Homemade Rainbow Xylophone {And Next Comes L}
Music Themed Sensory Bin {And Next Comes L}
Musical Hide and Seek {And Next Comes L}
Piano Quiet Book Page {And Next Comes L}
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24 comments:

  1. I love this! What a great idea - my daughter wants to play the piano so badly and we don't have one. She will love this! I'm so thrilled to have found your blog as I am not musically inclined but I really want to add more music to our preschool.

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    1. My boys are fortunate to have access to a piano at all times, but I realize not every one does. So I am glad that this post, along with my other music ones, can make it accessible for anyone.

      I hope your daughter enjoys it and thanks for stopping by!!

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  2. Love this idea! We definitely need some practice. You could even make a staff. Thanks for sharing! Hope to see you at True Aim!

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  3. I just LOVE this!! Thanks for linking up again to Share It Saturday this week. I am featuring your post tomorrow.

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    1. Thanks, Karyn. Both my boys and I loved making this keyboard. We will be doing it many times throughout the summer, I'm sure.

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  4. What a great idea & so much fun for everyone. Thanks so much for adding this to the Outdoor Play Party this week too.

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    1. It was definitely a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. What a fun way to learn music

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  6. What a fun way to practice notes! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

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  7. What an awesome activity! I love the combination of movement, literacy, and music. Thanks for sharing it -- I'm featuring this post at this week's Stress-Free Sunday!

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    1. This activity does have a little bit of everything, doesn't it? Thank you for sharing. I am really proud of this activity.

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  8. Such a fun and creative activity. Perfect for active kids. Thanks for this wonderful idea!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this on Tuesday Tots. I've featured it this week as part of our active play roundup! You can see it here if you like and grab a featured button :) http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2013/05/ideas-to-keep-kids-active-gross-motor.html

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  10. Featured you on Mom's Library this week!

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  11. We love chalk games - will definitely be trying this. I've featured this on my Tuesday Tots post this week. Thanks so much for linking up. Feel free to stop by and grab a featured at button if you like! http://www.oneperfectdayblog.net/2013/05/28/outdoor-play-ideas-for-kids/

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    1. We love chalk games too. Thanks for featuring us!

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  12. I'm a piano teacher new to your blog, and I'm loving it - but I have to stop and say that THIS is FANTASTIC!! Thank you so much for the idea! I'll definitely be reading more. :)

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