6 Show & Tell Ideas for Kids (Music & Instruments Theme)

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Does your child need practice in speaking clearly, self-confidence, and critical thinking?

Look no further than Show and Tell — an excellent learning tool for kids to help them build crucial skills and better absorb lessons.

But as parents, we know that too often these assignments mean extra work for us, too!

If your child’s teacher has assigned a Show and Tell day about music and instruments, don’t panic.

Even if your child isn’t musically inclined, we’ve got some ideas for you!

Let’s start out with a quick list of Show and Tell ideas for music and instruments so you can get those wheels turning:

  • Perform a Song
  • Create a Homemade Instrument
  • Share and Explain a Favorite Song
  • Categorize Instruments
  • Low and High Notes
  • Sound Pattern

Let’s take a closer look at each idea and some tips to help you get your child ready for the big day.

Perform a Song

If your child already has a musical gift, this will be easy for them.

Let him or her perform a musical number for the class, whether that’s with an instrument or just their voice. It will be great practice and motivation for their extra-curricular music lessons.

For singing, make or find an instrumental track, or search for a karaoke version on Youtube for them to follow along with. This can ease some performance nerves. Have your child do at least one “recital” for you, so you know they are ready.

Create a Homemade Instrument

Kids can easily find objects around the home to make an instrument with, especially a percussion-style instrument.

A tin can with a lid and small rocks can turn into a maraca.

A bunch of straws, cut at varying lengths and taped together, can make a wind pipe instrument.

Some popsicle sticks, rubber bands and cut toothpicks, put together, create a makeshift harmonica.

Just a simple internet search of “homemade instruments for kids” will provide you with a ton of ideas!Have your child create the instrument and explain its construction to the class during Show and Tell, along with a short demonstration of course.

Share and Explain a Favorite Song

Perhaps your child loves music but is, let’s face it, tone deaf.

(Or maybe they just don’t want to sing in front of the class).

If this is the case for you, one way your child can still share some music for Show and Tell is by sharing a favorite, age-appropriate song with the class.

Check ahead of time with the teacher to see if she has speakers to play the song, or the ability to search the song on the internet.

Email or text her a link to make it super easy. Depending on the length of the song, you can choose to play the whole thing or just a segment.

After the song is over, your child can share why she or he likes the song, a favorite memory tied to the song, or what the lyrics mean to him or her.

Categorize Instruments

Before Show and Tell day, print and cut out pictures of:

  • percussion
  • wind
  • string
  • and brass instruments

You’ll need about 3 or so of each.

When it’s time to present, your child can write these words on the board and briefly explain each category.

Then, hold up a picture, and ask the class which category the instrument belongs in. Your child can use poster tack to secure the pictures of instruments on the board.

For extra time, your child can explain her favorite and least favorite category, and why. She or he can also ask the class about their favorites.

Low and High Notes

For this Show and Tell activity, your child will bring objects to class.

There are two options. He or she can either bring:

  • a series of big and small plastic buckets or containers
  • or 5-10 glass bottles of the same size.

Along with one of these groups of items, bring a small mallet or hammer. For the glass bottles, he might bring a fork or stick.

With buckets, your child will line them up big to small and ask the class, “which bucket will make the lowest sound? Which bucket will be the highest sound?”

They can guess, then your child will hit all the buckets (not too hard!) with a mallet to reveal the answer.

If you go with the bottle option, your child will fill the bottles with varying levels of water, from very little to almost full, and ask the same questions, hitting the bottles one by one (gently).

This activity can be extended if your child can blow sideways on the bottles to create a musical note.

The bottle that is most full, when hit, makes a low sound, but when blown, makes a high sound! And vice versa.

Sound Pattern

For the rhythmically gifted, your child can create sound patterns and have the class join along.

First, have him or her make simple patterns with colors and shapes (for example, blue square, red circle, blue square, red circle…).

They can start off very simple and get more complex. Create at least five patterns.

Now, assign each object a different beat (for example, blue square = clap, red circle = slap legs). Come presentation time, your child will teach the beats to the class to perform together by holding up the objects one at a time.

If your child wants to, he or she can think of easy songs to create these beats to (like “We Will Rock You” by Queen), perform the song, and have the class guess what the song is.

Wrapping Up

With a little planning and creativity, it’s easy to come up with an idea, whether your child has a musical gift or not. If they’re willing to perform, they can share a favorite song or lead the class in a performance.

If not, they can create a homemade instrument to show off or sort instruments into their different types.

Just remember to go over the performance or presentation enough times that your child will be confident when it’s time to shine.

Before you go, check out more Show and Tell ideas for:

Hope this helps!