Discovering Music and Rhythm in Nature

    Discovering Music and Rhythm in Nature

    My boys are finally at the age now when they can both absorb some tactile lessons in nature.  Since we are just getting started with kindergarten homeschool, I am looking for more intentional learning in nature.  While we will have to be spending some time on a computer for the curriculum we chose, getting outside for lessons is more important than ever before.

    I have also continually found that if I make an effort to get the kids outside for a couple hours right away in the morning, the rest of the day runs smoother.  They’ve gotten their wiggles out (as have I), and the fresh air breathes oxygen into our learning (quite literally.)

    While rain is not necessarily a prerequisite for this lesson, it does make it more fun and exciting.  We recommend quality rain gear (like DucKsday rain suits or Oakiwear Rain gear) or, if it is warm, just letting everyone get good and wet.  Plan ahead with a dry set of clothing right inside the door.


    Discovering Music and Rhythm:

    We set out on a bike/walk in the neighborhood first in search of music and rhythms.  I instructed the kids to “open their ears” and just listen (which gave ME a break from their constant chatter – win, win!) J (age 5) was excited about being involved and quickly picked up different sounds.  P (age 3) had an interest, but was definitely not as engaged as his older brother.  But, that’s ok.  Learning is still happening.

    We started at the puddles and the boys followed along as I made rhythms with my boots.  They love to splash, so it was fun for everyone.  I let each of them take turns making their own patterns and having us follow along.

    When they began to get restless, I directed them to explore and find their instruments.  We searched for sticks, rocks, branches, leaves, dirt  – basically anything natural.

    They enjoyed using their treasures separately and together to make different noises.

    Here are just a few they discovered:

    • Branches on the metal dumpster
    • Rocks hitting the water (in puddles)
    • Rain falling off the roof onto their bike helmets
    • Sticks beating against tree trunks
    • Bikes riding through puddles
    • Boots scuffing on the ground and through the water musicinnature4

    Once they both started to really get the hang of it, we started with some blending of sounds. I directed their movements at first and then let them continue:

    • Can you splash this puddle with your feet while you drum with your stick?
    • What happens when I make noises with my mouth AND jump in the mud?
    • You make a beat with your branch and I’ll throw rocks in one at a time down this hole.  What do you hear?


    The benefits go much further than music

    Not only were the kids working on recognizing rhythms and making their own, they were also inadvertently developing balance and coordination (as they attempted to do more than one thing at a time) and an appreciate for nature and their local habitat and ecosystem. They couldn’t wait to get out again.  I’ll take it!




    Have you read something wonderful (or written it yourself) about learning AND being outside in nature?  I’d love to see it.  Please link me up in the comments!


    © 2014, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.


      1. That sounds like so much fun! We’re expecting more rain here soon, so I’ll have to do this with the girls. Meanwhile, we’ve been busy investigating small worlds on the forest floor:

      2. What a great way to enjoy the rain while outdoors. Here is one of my recent posts on exploring trees in the fall. Great time to be outdoors.

      Speak Your Mind