Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


  • To make children aware of the various sounds they hear every day.
  • To introduce children to the higher and lower pitches of sound.
  • To introduce children to sound and musical vibrations.
  • To introduce children to rhythm and tempo (slow and fast).

Books : (In kit)

  • Hand, Hand. Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins
  • The I Can’t Sing Book, by Jackie Silberg
  • I Had A Rooster: A Traditional Folk Song by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler; Illus. R. Gregory Christie
  • Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney
  • Sounds All Around (Let’s Read and Find Out-Level 1) by Wendy Pfeffer


My First Classical Album


Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin and More Stories for Young Musicians

Equipment : (In kit)

Tote # 1  (items mrked Tote # 1)

  • 1 Kid’s Konga drum with shoulder strap
  • 2 clear plastic “Rain stick” with red/yellow/green/blue inside
  • 2 read and yellow plastic “clackers”
  • 1 “Kid’s Play” flat drum (on a stick with dancing animals on the face)
  • 1 White drum stick with red rubber ball on the end
  • 1 “Monkey Drum” (on a stick with beads on string)
  • 2 Metal Slinkys

Tote # 2  (items mrked Tote # 2)

  • 1 Rhythm Kit with (contents marked “A”)
    • 2 Finger cymbals
    • 2 Rhythm sticks (red)
    • Tambourine
    • 1 Wrist bells
    • Triangle (with metal striker)
    • Wooden Tone Block with stick
  • 1 Lollipop striped drum with striped mallet drum stick
  • 1 Music maker, tuner wrench,  6 double sided music cards, 1 tuning card/instruction sheet, 2 picks, set of extra strings for Music Maker
  • 1 Glockenspiel with 2 blue sticks
  • 2 “Mini Chimalongs” –  mini xylophones with songbooks and red-topped plastic sticks
  • 1 Rhythm Kit with (contents marked”B”)
    • 2 Finger cymbals
    • 2 Rhythm sticks (red)
    • Maraca
    • Castanet
    • Triangle
    • Wooden Tone block with stick
  • 1 Ziplock Set: 50 plus Wooden sticks; Sandpaper squares for alternate sound

Paper, Markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils, Paint

Program Sheet



  • Objectives
    • To make children aware of the various sounds they hear everyday.
    • To introduce children to the higher and lower pitches of sound.
    • To introduce children to sound and musical vibrations.
    • To introduce children to rhythm and tempo (slow and fast).
  • Program
    • Define Sound/Vibrations
      • Sound is produced by the movement of air. This movement of the air is called vibrationThe vibrations can be through your own vocal chords, or the sounds of nature, or sounds of musical instruments.  All sounds use vibrations to reach our ears. (Page 51 of The I Can’t Sing Book)
        • Have children gently touch their throats. Have them hum. Can they feel the throat vibrating?
        • Hold the palm of one hand about an inch in front of their mouth. Now blow on the hand. There will be a distinct sound. Hold up the index finger of the other hand and move it through the air flow. Can they hear the sound changing?
    • Read: Sounds All Around.  I suggest you ONLY read through page 19. The book covers more than you are going to do with Music and Sounds.  Also, feel free to skip the box on how the ear and throat work! However, give children the time to feel their throats again and to make noises on page 10.
    • Take out the Slinkys. Use the slinky to show wave lengths and differences. Water waves go up and down in a zigzag fashion. Sound waves go in a more direct route, longitudinal pressure (almost like a tube) but at different speeds to make the different tones. To show the sound waves (compression waves), set the slinky on the floor, have someone holding each end and one person push the slinky still holding onto the end. You will watch the compression wave travel through the slinky’s length. If the sound is loud the wave will have a lot of energy. A soft sound will be a lot less. Higher pitches will be seen as frequent waves, while lower pitches will be less frequent. The children can take turns making compression waves.  I found it very useful to watch: Slinky and sound –  If you want to have the set-up for the children to watch it, it is only 2 minutes long.
    • Tempo – Rhythm or the Italian word (tempo) for time helps us know if we are listening or making sounds fast and slow. Before we HEAR this, let’s LOOK at Rhythm with our bodies. (Page 18 of The I Can’t Sing Book).

      • Hold your arms out straight from your body. Have children do the same. Make little circles with your hands, very slowly and then faster and faster.
      • Sing/Chant “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” with everyone doing the motions (faster and faster).
    • Bring out the instruments. Today we will focus on percussion instruments where we make sounds by striking, shaking or hitting them with a hammer or stick. We also have a string instrument where the strings are plucked. As we pass these out, we will all listen to each instrument as it  is named and played for a moment. Hand out percussion instruments.
    • Read: Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb.  Keep a steady beat to the reading as you ask the children to beat their instruments with YOUR rhythm.  Great job, everyone!
    • Move instruments around so children get to experience something different. Let them practice on them – but not too loud.
    • Read: Jazz Baby. Again, have the children participate with the reading with their instruments. However, this time, as you read, change your pitch from high to low, fast to slow, and loud and soft. They must follow your lead.
    • Take out the “Mini Chimalongs, Glockenspiel, and Music Maker”. Let children take turns striking the instruments. Talk about high pitches, low pitches, making loud and soft sounds. Emphasize that high and low  pitch are not the same as loud and soft.
    • Read/Listen: I Had a Rooster. Play the CD and let Pete Seeger lead the singing. Break up your group, if yu want, and let different children solo with their voice and their instrument for each verse at the animal prompt. Every time you return to that animal, the one person (or two or three from a large group) get to do the solo. You can use the book, but it may be more fun if you play the conductor!
    • Have the children bring up their instruments to the front of the room (on table or floor) and take two sticks. Practice with the group and then Read: Max Found Two Sticks.
    • Play: “Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt Suite by Greig (# 8). The children can keep their sticks or go back to another percussion instrument. Practice playing soft, loud, fast and slow again. YOU ARE THE CONDUCTOR!!! You are leading them in this piece. (It starts out VERY soft. (If you don’t know this piece you need to listen to it once, but it is easy to conduct).
    • Have all instruments moved to front of room and let children relax with the DVD: Zin! Zin Zin! A Violin. This goes over the entire orchestra in a wonderful film that helps children hear the different musical instruments.
    • Activities – Choose Your Favorite!
      • Let the children play with the instruments that have music with them – “Mini Chimalongs and Music maker” or test instruments they didn’t get to handle.
      • Have paper and markers, crayons or paint out to draw music that is actually written to portray an animal. Let them listen to three specific pieces from the CD: # 13 – Carnival of the AnimalsThe Swan (3.06); # 19 – Peter and the Wolf – The Cat (1.43), # 22 –  Carnival of the Animals – The Elephant (1.33). Pause between the pieces, or repeat them, and give children time to think about what they heard. Did they imagine the animal that was named? Or something different. Good time to share.
      • Have the children draw sound waves on their paper as they listen to different pieces. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is 11 minutes long which will give them time to simply draw the waves over and over on their paper with different colors, etc., however they want to express the music through art.
      • OPTIONAL: Use the CD to play “musical Chairs, or Musical Carpet Squares”.  There are two more folk songs on the “I Had a Rooster CD” that can also be used. Make a point of mentioning sound and silence. (See Page 48 of the The I Can’t Sing Book).
      • OPTIONAL: Do clapping songs/chants. Any nursery rhyme will work.
        Pease porridge hot,
        Pease porridge cold,
        Pease porridge in the pot nine days old.
        Some like it hot,
        Some like it cold,
        Some like it in the pot nine days old.
      • Miss Mary Mack – See age 29 of The I Can’t Sing Book.
      • OPTIONAL: Have the children walk around the room in rhythm saying robot sounds. Let them suggest the sound. (See page 23 of The I Can’t sing Book).

    There are six films on the DVD. You could bring in more clapping/chanting songs. There are so many books that are songs. Here are a few suggestions:

    • I Know an Old lady Who Swallowed a Fly  (multiple editions)
    • If You’re Happy and You Know It(multiple editions)
    •  The Itsy Bitsy Spider  (multiple editions)
    • The Lady With the Alligator Purse  (multiple editions)
    • Old MacDonald Had a Farm  (multiple editions)
    • Over In the Meadow  (multiple editions)
    • The Wheels On the Bus  (multiple editions)

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