We all enjoy music – it can be used to lift our mood, it often evokes strong memories or emotions, and is often used for healing and spiritual purposes. You can also find videos on TikTok or youtube that demonstrate how vibrations (like musical sounds) create patterns – historically, this has been described as “sound calling the particles to order”. Here are some musical activities to try during your visit to the Knowledge Path:
While walking on the trail, you could sing some traditional campfire songs, or popular catchy songs like “Herman the Worm”, “Boom Chicka”, “Alice the Camel”, or “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”…(for extra inspiration visit this website)
If you have more time to plan for your outdoor adventure and want to stay on the Path a little longer, you could bring along a picnic blanket, a lunch, and maybe throw in some musical instruments! While picnicking, sing picnic-themed songs, like “Ants Go Marching”, “I Like to Eat”, “Peanut Butter” or “Going On a Picnic”.
Draw a circle with chalk on a place convenient to you and take turns with members of your group dancing in the circle while everyone else sings and/or claps their hands. You could encourage “theme” dances, like Animal Dances. Give them prompts like “dance like a squirrel” or “dance like a snail” while everyone provides the music. Or you could reverse it and get them to perform an animal-like dance and the rest of the group has to guess what type of animal they are.
While pausing along the trail, encourage your group members to listen to the sounds of nature. Ask them what they hear and ask them if they can recreate the sounds. Once they’ve identified all the sounds they’re hearing, continue along the trail and repeat the exercise. You could journal it (it’s always a good idea to pack a journal for jotting down notes during outdoor adventures!) or when you return home, you could recreate those sounds, compose sound samples by using the sounds recreated. Use the sounds as a soundtrack for a story created.
Kids love listening to nature! It facilitates mindfulness with emphasis on focused listening in nature. It also enhances attention and gives them a sense of joy.
Create Your Own Instruments and Have a Concert!
Collect items from the path and work in teams to build an instrument or encourage each member of your group to create their own. For example, you could find a couple of sticks and bang them together or against a hollow log or a tree stump. Create a simple rhythm pattern and have others repeat it. Better yet, stop at the Sule'katike'l (Out on the Mira) Sound Garden on the Path where there are thunder drums and an amadinda (wooden xylophone) – you can pretend to have a concert. If you plan ahead, you could bring along a few plastic or glass bottles and fill them with small stones, seeds, acorns, or small pine cones. Shake them around to hear what different sounds you can make. All of your group members can play your nature instruments and march like a marching band along the trail.
This article was inspired by:
Developing mindfulness in children through participation in music activities. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 8(1), 1-7