Skip to content

Activity Inspiration: Preschool percussion

May 26, 2022


Set up this early childhood game by gathering materials children can tap, shake, hit or bang to make percussive sounds. Some ideas include plastic food storage containers with lids, coffee cans, clean garbage can lids, overturned storage tubs, metal pots and pans, etc.

To play:

Have your CACFP participants select an instrument and sit in a drum circle. To begin, go around the circle allowing each child to practice their instrument independently. After a quick practice session, sing or play simple tunes, such as the ABCs or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star  and encourage everyone to tap along to the words.

Extend the fun:

Did your percussion band really feel the beat? Extend the fun by engaging them a little more.

  • Make the game more challenging by tapping out a beat and having the children echo it back. Slowly increase the length of the beat to see how long the group can continue to match you. Let the kids take turns being the leader.
  • Read a picture book about music, rhythm or drums. Some favorites include I Got the Rhythm by Connie Shofield-Morrison and Little Critter: Just a Little Music by Mercer Meyer.
  • Include STEAM. Have participants place a handful of small items in a firm paper cup. Some ideas include dried beans, dried rice, dried lima beans and paperclips. Secure wax paper over the top with a rubber band. Encourage participants to experiment with and discuss how different drums sound based on what’s inside of them!

We can’t wait to hear all about your CACFP drumline! Email us the results at or tag us in the photos @NationalCACFP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and stay tuned for more activity ideas.





preschool percussion (4 × 3 in)