E Eats Everything

I asked my daughter what I should do for my next blog post.  She wanted me to do "My Giants" which would be They Might be Giants.  She currently has a small obsession with their children's videos.  I have to admit they are pretty good.  Right now she is trying to memorize the words to E Eats Everything.  Here is the video.  It is from their album/DVD Here Come the ABC's.  I hope you enjoy it.



I promised that my next post would be a follow-up of my last post.  Today was a nice brisk fall day.  So I put baby boy in the Ergo, and took little girl on a walk around the block.  Baby boy fell asleep, and little girl started dragging her feet through some gravel.  My first instinct was to tell her not to ruin her shoes.  Then I suddenly remembered my blog post, and we started talking about music.  We shuffled the beat all the way home, and threw in a little singing as well.  Then we went out back and found 9 more ways to make music outdoors. 

All 9 of those ways involved the dried stems from daylily flowers.  First she hit grass, hit stone pavers, hit wooden deck, hit the siding on the house, and hit the chain link fence.  They all sounded different.  We talked about the differences a little bit.  Then she started getting more creative.

She ran the stems across our chainlink fence.  Then she stuck a stick into one of the holes and circled it around like she was ringing a dinner bell.  Then she broke the stems making a crunching noise. 

Finally, my very favorite use of the daylily stems to make music was when she put one under her chin, and rubbed the other across.  She said "this is a violin," and proceeded to bow her violin while singing twinkle twinkle little star.  I really wish I had a video camera for that.

I thought my 2.99 year old did a pretty good job of making music 10 ways with things found outdoors.  How did your kids do?


What is music?

1.  an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.
2.  the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or multiple lines (harmony), and sounded or to be sounded by one or more voices or instruments, or both.
noun, often attributive \ˈmyü-zik\
1 a : the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity b : vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony
2 an agreeable sound : euphony music to my ears; 

Those seem a little, ambiguous, don't you think?  I think what music is, is really up to the listener (interpreter), or the composer.  

We have been spending a lot more time outdoors the past couple of weeks thanks to a streak of nearly perfect weather.  There is lots of good music to be had outdoors.  I challenge you, to challenge your children, to find 10 different ways to make music with nature.

I don't want to take all the good ideas, so I'll just give a couple.

  • Stepping on crunchy leaves.  You could "put the beat in your feet" in a whole new way.
  • Twisting your foot on gravel.  Make patterns by alternating between the leaves and the gravel.
  • Using a stick to hit the fence.  Do all fences sound the same?  Do different sticks sound the same on the same fence?  

After you come up with 10 types of sounds to make, can you put them in rhythm while you sing your favorite song?  

My next post will be a follow-up of what my daughter and I come up with.


    Ready.... jump!

    Do you ever not get your kids outside to burn off all of their energy?  Me too.  Does your child ever take a nap in the afternoon and when they wake up you can just tell they are a little bit TOO refreshed?  Me too.  So I invented this activity.

    Get any kind of music that you like.  Without words would be best, but it's not a requirement.  Have your play and pause button ready to go. 

    Tell your child that when the music comes on, they are to jump.  Then when the music stops they should freeze. 

    Hit play.  Watch your child jump all over.  Just when the energy is waning, hit pause.  Then tell them to count to any number you want.  This is a great time to practice counting on fingers too.  Then when you reach that number, hit play again.  Repeat through the entire song.

    A variation on this would be to do something besides jump.  Examples would be, run in circles, hop on one foot, skip around, gallop like a horse, or let your child pick.  I find my students and child often have a better imagination than me! 

    Here's to fun activities on rainy days, and good bedtimes every night.