The Toddler Busy Book by Trish Kuffner is THE book I turn to when I crave simple, little or no-prep toddler activities that provide meaningful play. I love that most activities in her book revolve around Heuristic Play, which is repurposing everyday household items for different, creative manipulation.
Today I was looking for an activity that was about music. Gwen particularly enjoys Musical Storytimes at our local library (she can no longer sit still if it’s only book-reading) so I wanted to expose her to more about music and develop her senses.
I decided to try out Trish Kuffner's simple but brilliant music idea of Button Tap with Gwen’s outgrown socks. You can read her book for more play hacks of this nature.
Modification I Made
I didn’t have a big button that could create a large surface area for tapping and sound-making so I included a magnetic clasp from my sewing kit in addition to a small button.
I think having both items sewn to the sock improved the ease of tapping very much.
Our Button Tap Play
I slipped the sock onto my hand and tapped against different materials (window pane, toy car, book etc) to create different tap, tap, tap sounds that fascinated Gwen.
She immediately came to investigate the sock, and pulled it off my hand. I asked if she would like me to put it on hers and she didn’t resist when I did so I took it as silent consent lol.
She tried to imitiate my tapping hand movement and tapped her gloved hand against the window pane. It was adorable in her uncoordinated way. She eventually gave up/lost interest after a few short minutes so I took over and sang to her while tapping away.
I placed the sock permanently on one of her teddy bear’s hands in her play area so she could explore this diy music maker at her own time later in the day.
Note: Ensure the stitching is tight so the small items don't come off and become choking hazards. If you're uncertain of how strong the stitches are, I recommend close parental supervision at all times with this DIY music maker.
Creating a rhythm is something that’s hard for even adults, and motor skills aren’t refined yet for young toddlers, so I naturally didn’t expect Gwen to come close to creating a string of tap, tap sounds.
I think this diy music maker is good at introducing her to what a consistent rhythm is, and a nice complement to our usual nursery rhyme singing sessions. She’ll probably enjoy using it more when she’s older, so I’ll save this sock for future use definitely.
If you’re keen to make other musical instruments, you might like to try a DIY Harp.
For other musical toddler activities (and you don't mind high decibels), consider letting your little one start a Kitchen Rock Band.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.