Musical activities and songs are brilliant for entertaining young children. You can keep it really simple and integrated into your everyday rhythms and routines – and the more repetition the better!
Below is some inspiration for the best musical activities for 3-5 year olds. If you have younger children, I have a companion post focusing on activities for newborn to 2 year olds here.
I’d love to hear your go-to best musical activities for this age group – let me know in the comments below.
Musical activity ideas to engage your preschooler
1. Move and march to classical music
If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know I love a good action song! There are far too many to list here, but you can find the archive of all of the action songs with words and activities here. They are perfect for engaging the younger end of this age group in particular.
These songs my favourite for promoting gross motor movement – great for a rainy day and for getting the wiggles out.
One of the best things you can do to help children understand the beat and tempo is marching. Here is a playlist of the best classical tracks for marching. The older end of this age group love this activity the most!
2. Attach musical activities to imaginative play
There really is no limit to how you can integrate music into imaginative play. Piggyback songs – where you take a well known tune and make up some new words – work really well here.
The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns is a fantastic piece of music to blend imaginative play and musical activities. You can find lots of activities in my eBook here, or keep it simple and play it in the background and dance and draw! The whole piece can be found on YouTube.
Otherwise, role play songs like Polly Put the Kettle On or Miss Polly had A Dolly are a fantastic way to give children a bit more guidance – useful for younger children. Little Miss Muffet is also a firm favourite and works really well as a makeshift puppet show.
3. Sing counting songs
Songs can be such a great way to learn numbers and simple counting. Like action songs, there are lots of counting songs that i’ve covered over the years and you can find them all here. They cover most themes from Frogs, Ducks and Penguins!
4. Sing songs that relate to your favourite stories
Whether fairy tales or children’s classics, intertwining songs with your little one’s favourite stories is a great way to make storytime musical.
These activities suit the older end of this age group best, with my Goldilocks and the Three Bears puppet show and The Three Little Pigs where the children do the sound effects with instruments being very popular. If this appeals, check out my “Very Hungry Caterpillar” rap and musical activities attached to “We’re Going on A Bear Hunt”.
5. Sing songs with musical activities that fit in with your daily routine
This is by far the best and easiest way to integrate music into your day to day. From brushing teeth to bath time to getting dressed there are songs for everything! Routine songs are also great for children of all ages, so not limited to this age group!