Monday, October 14, 2013

F is for Flight of the Bumblebee (The ABCs of Music for Kids)

This website uses affiliate links. As an affiliate and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which means I make a small commission when you use these links, at no additional cost to you.

Do I have hyperlexia? Is my child hyperlexic? Take the free online hyperlexia quiz today!

Music activities for kids inspired by "The Flight of the Bumblebee."

"The Flight of the Bumblebee" is one of those amazing pieces of classical music that a lot of people can quickly identify.  And if not, they can probably hear how it sounds like a buzzing bumblebee.  However, a lot of people think it is a stand alone song.  It's not.  It is an interlude for an opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov called The Tale of Tsar Saltan.

That's all fine and dandy, but most toddlers and preschoolers aren't going to care that it's from an opera.  So here are some suggestions of how to study "The Flight of the Bumblebee" with little kids, including two free printables!

Flight of the Bumblebee Music Appreciation for Kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

1. Combine music and art to make this adorable bumblebee craft.

You can see how we made this craft here.

Flight of the Bumblebee Music Appreciation for Kids: An adorable bumblebee craft that combines art with music from And Next Comes L

Here are some other cute bee crafts that you could try making while listening to the music:

2. Make a composer craft stick puzzle using an image of the composer, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. 

I used an image of Rimsky-Korsakov that I found here.  I also wrote the composer's name on the edges of the craft sticks to add a literacy component.  However, the literacy component is optional.  I made this puzzle the same way that I did the greeting card puzzles.

Craft stick composer puzzles from And Next Comes L

3. Explore the sound of bees with this simple buzz basket activity.

Read this bee book about a bee who loses his buzz.  Then have the kids use their ears to pick out what makes a buzzing noise.

Explore the sounds of buzzing bees with this buzz basket and reading activity from And Next Comes L

4. Fly some pool noodle bees to mimic the music.

The boys and I flew our pool noodle bees around while listening to a recording of "The Flight of the Bumblebee" from this cd.  I encouraged the boys to mimic the music while flying their bees (e.g., flying high when the music went higher, matching the tempo of the song to how fast they flew their bees, etc.).

Pool noodle bees craft from And Next Comes L

You can also do this activity using a bee pouch cap finger puppet (from Lalymom) or while wearing a bee headband (from Things to Share and Remember).

Or try playing a game of "Freeze, Bees!" using the pool noodles bees.  Ashley of Momma Doo shared this adorable Freeze, Bees game.  Simply fly the bees around when the music is playing, but stop when the music stops. 

5. Make a bee themed craft stick and write some song inspired words in the salt tray.

Since J is reading, I offered him some of my printable Flight of the Bumblebee music word cards and set up the salt tray.  The words range from music to opera to bumblebee.  They're words that relate to the type of music and or title and composer of the song.  Then using the bee themed craft stick (I just colored stripes and a face onto a yellow craft stick), J practiced his writing and reading skills.  I also played a recording of "The Flight of the Bumblebee" from this cd while he drew in the salt tray.

You can download the free printable here.  There are simple and more complex cards included to accommodate different ages and abilities.

If you have a younger child, then you may wish to encourage them to write letters with the bee stick instead of the words.

Flight of the Bumblebee Music Appreciation for kids: Writing music words in a salt tray with free printable from And Next Comes L

I would have loved to use cute bee cards like Suzy Homeschooler did here.  Or, as an alternative to a salt tray, try this sight word smack (also from Suzy Homeschooler), using the music words instead of sight words.

6. Trace bumblebee flight patterns using this free printable.

Grab the free printable and encourage your toddler or preschooler to trace the bee's flight patterns.  You can again pair this activity with a recording of "The Flight of the Bumblebee" from this cd.

Flight of the Bumblebee Music Appreciation for kids: Tracing flight patterns with free printable from And Next Comes L

After J traced all the lines, he wrote the word "bumblebee" on a piece of paper.  And this was from memory since the word was no where in sight for him to copy!

J's writing of the word bumblebee from And Next Comes L

7. Explore tempo and learn about different instruments by watching YouTube videos of "The Flight of the Bumblebee."

After watching the suggested videos, encourage your child to find the corresponding instrument using either the instruments from the Symphony in B or the Instruments Toob from Safari Ltd.  Doing so will help your child learn to identify particular instruments and their sounds.
  • Guitar version.  This particular video is a good video to explore tempo as he is a world record holder for the fastest guitar player and plays "The Flight of the Bumblebee" at progressively faster speeds.
  • Trumpet version
  • Flute version
  • Piano version.  Please note that there is a clip of a pole dancer at the beginning of this video.  And the kids might particular enjoy this version as it's played by a kid!

8. Listen to "The Flight of the Bumblebee" while exploring some bee themed sensory activities.

If you have a younger child, perhaps a baby, then some of the above activities may not be age appropriate.  Well, you can always play "The Flight of the Bumblebee" (I suggest this cd) while they try one of these bee themed sensory activities: