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Musical ideas for families

Singing, playing or listening to music with your child is always a great thing to do whenever you can. Here are a few ideas which you might find helpful while you’re in hospital or at home.

Use familiar songs

  • Sing any familiar songs with your child – it could be nursery rhymes or songs that you know as a family
  • Use some action songs Eg. Wind the bobbin, Head and shoulders
  • Try leaving gaps for some words for them to fill in
  • Sing the song in different ways, Eg. Slowly, quickly, in a whisper, like an opera singer!
  • Take turns to pick songs to sing
  • Try having a theme of songs Eg. Animal songs, action songs
  • Use favourite songs to help with movement; Eg. bop, dance, exercise!

Copying games

  • Clap different patterns for each other to copy
  • Use any instruments you have with you to copy patterns. Be creative with what you could use for an instrument, Eg. Maybe an upside-down plastic tub could be a drum
  • Copy different vocal sounds – the funnier the better!


  • Choose a song to sing and then one person becomes the conductor
  • Use hand /arm gestures to conduct the other person (s) singing the song, Eg. Go/stop; loud/quiet; fast/slow etc.


  • Listen to a piece of music or a song together. This could be for relaxation or you could try some of the following:
  • How does it make you feel? – maybe chat together or draw a picture about this
  • Try playing along to it using your drum or clapping a rhythm to it
  • Make up some movements to the music or a dance

Making up songs

Try changing the lyrics to a song:

Twinkle twinkle little bat

How I wonder where you’re at……

…..Can you finish the song?

Use a well-known tune but change the lyrics to personalise it, using their name and singing about their favourite things (children love songs about themselves!).

Musical apps

If you can access them, there are several musical apps which may be helpful. This list is not exhaustive and there may be others that you are familiar with.

  • Garage Band
  • Launch Pad
  • Bloom
  • Cove: music for mental health
  • Fingertip Maestro
  • Djembe
  • Epic Guitar
  • Air Harp

Above all have fun and be creative!