Looking for simple and fun ways for your music classes to be active and engaged outdoors? Check out these easy outdoor music and movement activities for kids! Why outdoors? To enjoy the weather, quiet time during testing, or just a change of scenery for a brain break.
Earth, Wind, and FIRE
Take any upbeat song such as Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Let’s Groove Tonight” and create easy movement.
- Intro (stand and bounce to the beat)
- Verse (lots of words so keep it simple-WALK to the beat)
- Chorus (easier lyrics so stop and do simple choreography)
- arms up, arms out, arms down, arms out (repeat)
- Bridge (freestyle)
Walking and freestyle are a snap! Just something simple for the chorus and BAM, you’ve got it.
There were sidewalks around my school so we did this as we walked through the neighborhood!
I checked w/the principal because technically we were leaving the campus. (Some classes did NOT go out into the neighborhood but we walked around the building.)
🚦no touching of people, property, or nature
🚦no crossing of streets unless I was there (so the leader had to stop and wait for me)
Materials Needed: a portable speaker (JBL Flip) and a good song!
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If you have a portable speaker like the fabulous JBL Flip, you can do lots of extended parachute activities.
Chalk It Up
Instead of hoops, you can draw chalk squares on the sidewalk or playground to play this beat game!
Chalk Rhythms-I divided a sidewalk square into 4 sections and then assigned students to ONE square where they draw a rhythm notation. (single notes) The activity then is to move down the sidewalk and perform each 4-beat pattern.
From individual jump to long rope to double-dutch, jump rope rhymes help kids speak and keep the beat!
Here are examples of “A” My Name is Alice and Teddy Bear.”
Make “Alice” into a creative writing unit of study. GREAT for subs or quiet learning times! Take those clipboards outside under a shady tree.
A cappella singing with a game works GREAT for an easy outdoor music and movement activity.
- Charlie Over the Ocean
- Double Double This This
- Bluebird, Bluebird
- Let Us Chase the Squirrel
- ANY cup game on a playground flat surface
- Miss Mary Mack
- Pass the Pumpkin*
*or seasonal changes 🤣 Pass the flower, shamrock, turkey, butterfly, baseball, football, etc. You have to come up with an appropriate rhyming ending!
Human Match Game-Instruments
Every student in the class, except the players (game 1 version), sits in a formation (grid, circle, random placement). Give each student an instrument picture that they keep face down on the floor in front of them.
Game 1: Play with 2 or 3 student players who are trying to get the most matches. Students with the pictures are not playing other than showing their picture when called upon. Like the traditional game, each player chooses two students, trying to make a match. If they make a match, they get the pictures and get to guess again.
Game 2: Let everyone with a picture have a turn. The first player shows their picture and then tries to find a match. If they match, they get that person’s picture and they get to choose two other students and try to match. But if they don’t match, go to the next player. If the next player still has their picture, they show it and then tries to find a match. And if they don’t have their picture, they choose two students, trying to make a match.
-a circle formation gives everyone a good view of the pictures
-putting the pictures in a plastic sleeve will keep them tidy and free of rips/tears
This PDF is in black and white (made from Pixabay images) and includes 17 instrument images, each 8.5 x 11. Copy TWO of each picture to make your match game cards.
Here’s the PDF!