DIY musical strummies

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A fun and creative way to explore sound in your classroom!

I recently picked up the book “Red and Yellow’s Noisy Night” by Josh Selig and fell in love with it. It is one of those books that can be extended into all content areas of the classroom! One way we extended our new book was by making music with our handmade (DIY) strummies…

Introducing the Story

“Red and Yellow’s Noisy Night” is about two friends who live in an olive tree together but Red is keeping Yellow awake by playing his strummy too loud. The two friends have a little problem to solve but it doesn’t take long before they find a happy solution…

This book is simple yet rich in language, illustrations, and content. I think I could spend a month building on ideas straight from this book including concepts such as night, olive trees, musical instruments, loud, soft, quiet, color, and color mixing…

Expanding on the Story

After reading about Red’s strummy, we spend time exploring and making our own strummies, too!

I had one set of left-over Dollar Store gift boxes that were perfect for individual sized strummies. Each child started by designing the top or bottom of a gift box with markers…

Next, the children added rubber bands around the boxes to create the strings for the strummies.  The children discovered that the smaller the rubber bands, the better the sound so they sorted through all sizes of rubber bands to find the smallest ones available…

Once the children added strings (rubber bands) on their boxes, they now had their very own strummies to play.  The children chose for themselves how many strings their strummy would have…

Exploring Sound and Vibration

To play a strummy, you simply pluck or strum your finger across the strings. Before heading off to make our strummies, the children explored a set of strummies I had already made and we talked together about the different sounds the strummy makes when you strum versus pluck the strings of the strummies…

We also learned that if we held the back of our strummies up to our ears while plucking the strings, we could feel and hear the vibrations. The strummies were super loud when we held them up to our ears to play and super quiet when we held them in our laps to play…

Other Invitations to Explore

The children were invited to explore tube strummies, box strummies, and…

Mrs. Stewart’s real strummy!…

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Rubber Band Painting by Reading Confetti  (Goes nicely with the strummies – could be called strummy painting!)

Instruments for kids to make from Hands On: As We Grow

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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