Vocal Explorations are one of the best ways that we can help kids find their singing voice. But kids can get tired of the same old, same old…so I thought I’d go over some the best ways to keep it fresh! (Some affiliate links – won’t change your price. No pressure!)
You know – the lines, dotted or otherwise, and cute little icons. They are super adorable! You can make them for any theme you want. Here’s some of my more recent ones:
2. Kids write their own!
Last year, my Ks all got to make their own in small groups. They worked with a few classmates and drew their own for their friends to sing. They were super creative, a lot of them even drew little characters that were moving and some write their names in dotted lines to sing. It was adorable and I regret not letting them do this before! (Some of my VEs that are in my TpT store have create your owns too!)
Yarn is a great way for kids to get to make some VEs or for you to engage them. I have laid yarn out on the floor before, but another way could be to hang a piece of felt and put the yarn on the felt. It will stick by itself.
4. Bird puppet
This is great because the kids can use a ‘bird voice’ to sing the path the bird ‘flies’.
5. Cow puppet
Now, any animal path can work in the way you use the bird puppet above, but the cow is particularly awesome because instead of singing, the cow can “moooo” a pathway that the kids echo. They love it, and get a hoot (owls, and wolves work too!) making an animal noise in a new way.
6. Slide whistle
Don’t just go up or down. Try starting in the middle! The kids can mimic, or add the next one in their hands to get an extra element in.
7. Pipe cleaners
These are great to use with the kids because it puts a tool in their hand to help them get the concepts in a kinesthetic way.
These silly little ‘toys’ are SO engaging. The kids can work it, or you can, but it’s one of the most engaging ways I know to do a vocal exploration with your students. ;
9. Balloon toss
This works with a balloon or a lightweight ball. Toss it up and let the kids voices follow it as it goes up and down.
10. Roller Coaster Ride
Take the kids on an imaginary roller coaster ride. The kids love the up and down and the idea of being on a roller coaster is absolute fun.
11. Old McDonald
Now it’s not just the song, but this involves a story about how the animals hide when they hear the wolf.
So now you sing the song and when you say the animal is the wolf, you put in the howls like you would any other animal song. This is a great activity for younger kids at the beginning of the year. They get a kick out of adding the howl, and they are a little more likely to participate in a new activity with a song they know. Even if they don’t sign along, most will do the animals sounds. I love this as a first vocal exploration.
Lots of books can add in fun sounds. This may not be a ‘traditional’ vocal exploration but it also helps kids explore what else their voices can do. Think found sounds, onomatopoeia, and the like. A great option for this is Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!
13. The Wave
Do the wave. Hilarious. The kids get to move and they use their voice AND body to show high/low.
There are some great finger plays with high and low voices: Grandma’s glasses, Mother’s Knives and Forks, 2 Little Blackbirds…these are perfect to help kids get in their head voices.
15. Ghosts, Aliens and other “Characters”
For Halloween, I love these hilarious characters for the kids (cartoon versions best!) to find their voices. OOOooos, UFO sounds and the like are not only perfect for Halloween, but the kids love the fun factor. Snag my Halloween VEs here.
16. Ribbons and Scarves
Another great kinesthetic way to engage the kids is using ribbon wands, scarves or a similar colorful tool. The kids can make them dance, and patterns besides up/down can be explored.
Like the finger plays, any stories the kids can do voices as an echo are great.
Great stories include:
– 3 Little Pigs
– Billy Goats Gruff
– Goldilocks – there is a “jazzy three bears” floating around that I love doing as an echo activity. I say a part, the kids echo. I love to use egg shakers to keep a beat as well, so they are doing a ‘double duty‘ activity and I can help them find their singing voices with the different bear voices.
On the hunt for engaging Vocal Explorations? Check out my store.
I hope you love these activities for your kids!