7 Ways to use Drums in your Early Years Setting

7 Ways to use drums in your early years setting

Do you have drums in your early years setting? Do you wonder what to do with them? Well, here are 7 ideas to get you started:

1. Tidy up time

Use a drum to signal that it is time to tidy up.  This could be one bang or the rhythmic pattern of the words you  normally say (tap the syllables in the words)

2. Sound patterns

With the children who are 3 years and older ask them to play simple sound patterns using different words on the drums: tapping the syllables in the words.

3. Explore Dynamics

Ask the children to explore dynamics (quiet and loud) on the drums.  This can be done by using their finger tips for quiet and whole hands for loud.

4. Play along to pieces of music

Choose a piece of music that has loud crashes or drum sounds and let the children play along.  When I do this we usually explore the drums beforehand exploring different dynamics: playing quietly and loudly. Then when they play along to the music I encourage them to use different dynamics; not just playing as loud as they can!

5. Keep a steady pulse (beat) throughout a story or rhyme

You and the children tap the pulse as you say parts of a story or a rhyme.  If you're unsure about what is meant by the pulse (beat) please watch the video I created below:

6. Working with babies/toddlers tapping a steady pulse with their hand resting on it

With a baby/toddler sat on your lap place the drum in front of them and gently place their hands on top of it.  Then as you sing a song gently tap the pulse on the drum so that they can feel it.

7. Use it to accompany well-known songs.

Let the children march and tap a drum to songs that have a strong beat e.g.The grand old Duke of York,

Or just let them sit down and tap the beat to well-known songs.

If you would like to learn more about using drums and other instruments, please take a look at my Early Years Music Ideas membership: https://www.musicintheearlyyears.com/early-years-music-ideas-2-to-5 

Happy music making!


1 comment


I work in an early years establishment we have children from 6weekes till 5years and have been tapping ,singing and drumming with the children from early on , we are finding that it can also help the children transition from home/the separation from parents to play , we have also noticed how it helps with language . We start with tapping (on body and tubs/tins) then clapping fast and slow , the children are able (through gestures/eye contact/language  to indicate what they have chosen 

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