Thursday, May 13, 2010

take music play outside: part 2

In Part 2 of our series on taking music play outside lets look at some more ways to create a 'soundscape' in our 'playscape'. 

Larger Scaled Outdoor Instruments
  • Install interesting instruments and sound sculptures for the children to explore:

Child Central Station
Amy at Child Central Station has a tutorial on making your own outdoor xylophone here.

Child Central Station
Child Central Station
Sound Lines
  • Sound makers that are light and have no sharp edges, can be suspended from a sound line.

  • Sound makers, pots, pans and lids can be suspended from the branches of trees:  

Dilly Dali Art
Over at Filth Wizardry they created a music tree in their backyard by hanging chimes, metal dishes and tambourines from a tree to bang using wooden spoons.
  • Sound makers can be suspended from home made frames or fences:
Teacher Tom created a sound garden at Woodland Park Community Preschool using homemade PVC piping stands:

Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning

Banging Wall

  • nail pots, pans, lids, muffin tins - anything that will make a satisfying sound - to a post, rail or stand and you have yourself a banging wall.
Child Central Station
Let the Children Play
Make and Play

Here are some links to some fabulous (cheap and easy!) banging walls:
SouleMama created a banging wall in their backyard using a frame made of logs and pots from an Op Shop.
Chasing Cheerios nailed metal odds and ends onto two pieces of wood.
Mama Gone Green nailed pots and pans to a thin piece of wood, and then nailed this to a fence.
Days of You and Me has beautiful 'how to' photographs of creating a banging wall for her daughter.

Please Join In

I would love to create more 'sound scapes' in our playground at preschool, so I would love to hear your ideas or experiences.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read:

Taking music play outside: Part 1
Music Outdoors is Where It's At @ Child's Play Music
Outdoor Music Play at Preschool
Building our Banging Post at Preschool


  1. Oh my goodness, oh my many great ideas all running through my head now I don't know where to start Jenny! It's no wonder I've had a migraine for the last few days.

    Donna :) :)

  2. I love these. I need to figure out how to incorporate some of this. Like Donna, I have too much going on in my head now!

  3. Wonderful ideas! My school is surrounded by ugly chain link fence. I'm thinking I can attach directly to the links. Hope the historical society doesn't notice...
    Only 6 weeks left to school and I'm excited for next Fall. Thanks.

  4. I love the giant instruments, Jenny. I wonder if we could make one?

    One tip I've learned about pots and pans: cast iron makes a remarkable, resonate sound. I'm thinking reconfiguring my rig to include only cast iron. If I do it with someone with the help of someone with a decent ear, maybe we can use cast iron for our giant instrument. Hmm . . .


  5. They are great aren't they? I have ideas buzzing around too - we have some wooden poles holding up our shade cloth and I'm thinking we could hammer in some pots and pans and make banging poles. Preschool teaching is fun isn't it :)

  6. We saw the post at Filth Wizardry and made the idea "ours"
    Here it is, perfect for cold winter rainy months (and even older kids enjoy banging on it! Even adults too for that matter, lol)

  7. Jenny-
    We made a giant xylophone out of scrap 2x4s and I recycled broken metal clothes racks to make a metal one on our fence. This post talks a lot about some of the things we have done in our yard: This post has some of our older stuff on it. On a side note, the bamboo chimes molded quite quickly- but they sounded great when we made them.

    The original posts for the xylophone are here: (I only have a couple of posts on our webpage before I moved the blog to blogspot).

    I look forward to following along in this conversation and looking at new ideas :).

  8. Hi i am gathering ideas for our outdoor music area i have found this site very helpful lots of good ideas thanks

  9. Nice I've just reassembled ours since we moved house. Love the xylophone. We found great inspiration from the sound garden at Dr Mazes farm and my 10 yr olds favourite - beer bottles filled with different levels of water - pan pipes and glockenspiel in one.

  10. Hello from Austria!! Great ideas, I get quite excited - and perfect timing, at the moment I´m cleaning up an old house with a shed, full with such treasures!!!!
    Margit from Austria

  11. Hey, These are great ideas. My brother is a music teacher and we were looking for a way to incorporate nature and building musical instruments for the kids. Looking at this has given me some good ideas what were can do for my brother and the kids. Thanks