This has been my busiest summer yet as a music therapist, and mostly because of the newest addition to the family, little J. Though this leaves less “me” time in my week, I am loving all of the “we” time which has replaced it. During our “we” time I have had a blast watching her grow and begin to explore with toys and instruments alike.
One of our favorite instruments for play time is a large floor drum. Of course we play the drum and sing songs, as we most certainly should, but there are a variety of ways we use the drum to work on cognitive and motor development that don’t involve music it all. Who knew a drum could be so versatile?!
So here are 4 Non-Musical ways that we use the drum during play time:
1. Practicing Spatial Concepts– Place items on top of the drum…hide them under the drum…turn the drum upside down and voila! Put them in, take them out, though, taking out is the preferred action in our house. The only thing she is interested putting in the drum so far is herself! 😉
2. Pushing- by putting the drum on its side, you have created the perfect opportunity to practice pushing. Your little one can push the drum around the room and chase it until it falls over. The best part is when it does fall over because then you can make music again!
3. Crawling- The height of the drum is perfect to practice pushing up and strengthening the upper torso, arm and leg muscles for crawling. Though you have been warned, this will eventually lead to #4.
4. A Sturdy Seat- In our house, the love of the drum has become so strong it now is a monitored event. Once crawling is mastered, the next logical step is to climb on top of the drum right? We have used it as a chair several times and it’s always a good time!
So there you have it! 4 ways we have been using the drum to aid in cognitive and motor development this summer. Even if you don’t have a large floor drum like the one shown, I’m sure you can adapt some of these for yourself. Maybe you have some of your own ideas for how to use a drum without actually playing it. I’d love to hear so feel free to share in the comments below!