Let's make music

What you needmusic

Music: radio, TV, downloads, streaming app

Baby rattle

Shakers: plastic bottles partly filled with rice, sand or gravel, tops glued securely

Drums: saucepans/old tins

Drumsticks: wooden/plastic spoons

Where to find it

At home, shops, internet – and your own voices!


Up to 12 months

Action songs
Sing traditional nursery rhymes with your baby, gently adding actions to match – e.g. Rock a Bye Baby, Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice. Encourage your baby to move to the music’s rhythm. Show your baby how to use rattles or shakers as 'instruments'.

12 months–2 years

Action songs
Sing together. Use shakers for rolling and shaking, and drum to the beat.

Dance and sing along to music. Put together a few simple steps to match the music, dancing together and stimulating your child to come up with their own song and dance routines.

Musical mimes
Mime to music as your child’s favourite animals, encouraging them to join in, e.g. hopping rabbit, prowling cat.

Musical statues
Play music while your child runs around; when the music stops, so do they.

2–5 years

Musical zoo
Match animal noises and movement to music, and make your own zoo.

Who am I?
Take turns in a guessing game, miming different animals to different types of music.

Make an orchestra
Find everyday items to make different “instruments” for children to play together.

Stories to music
Singing and acting out stories set to music, e.g. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Grand Old Duke of York.

Let's make an obstacle course
obstacle course

Great for getting children crawling, climbing, jumping and skipping

Let's play with a cardboard box
cardboard box

Ask for used cardboard boxes for free from supermarkets and shops, or use your own