Making music – Toddler

making music toddlerToddlers delight in responding to and making music!

Did you know?

Making and responding to music allows your toddler to explore creative ways to express feelings. They have the most fun creating their own music with their body e.g. clapping, stomping, humming, vocal noises or “musical instruments” they make from objects around the house e.g. banging on pots and pans as drums, blowing down a tube for a trumpet, striking metal tubes with sticks.

Add language

Music is a form of communication and toddlers can express mood, emotion and ideas through making music. Commenting on your interpretation of their music can help provide the words that match e.g. “Wow that’s fast. It sounds happy”, “That sounds gentle”, and “That’s loud – like a big elephant’s coming.”

Other development

Even very young children pick up the patterns of music through exploring, without needing instruction.

Providing opportunities for your toddler to have free play time with music allows them to experiment with patterns, repetition, and order, and to explore timing, tempo and rhythm. This helps with developing science and maths concepts.

Making music and moving with it helps develop body and spatial awareness, and fine and gross motor skills.


Exploring the sound making qualities of various things together in your everyday environment encourages curiosity and experimentation which are fundamental qualities for learning.

You can use music to help alter mood and energy levels e.g. by making music that matches your toddler’s high energy level (i.e. loud and fast music) and then slowing and quieting the music can help calm things down.


Choose instruments that are sturdy, unbreakable and able to handle rough toddler play. Some toy musical instruments are made with brittle plastic that easily breaks and pieces may become choking hazards.

Across the ages

All the activities listed on our “Play Ideas” page can be applied across different age groups. Check out making music for babieschildren and playgroups.


Activities listed under “toddler” are suitable for children aged 1-3 years. Toddlers enjoy activities that include exploring their environment and finding out how things work.