Developed by:LND Games
This app is just cool. Cool like Miles Davis’ effervescent trumpet; cool like the tones of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting. Color Band’s mergence of music and art is perfectly designed for a child’s endless imagination and free spirit. Let your child explore the sounds and colors of the app...and, after the artwork is complete, wave your hand in front of the screen to play the music!
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:
Colored by Nature
Our world is full of colors. From the highest treetops to the sandiest shores, nature’s colors invite us to engage and explore. Take a nature walk with your child and point out the various colors that greet you. Collect a mixture of leaves, flowers, dandelions, grass, etc. from your walk to bring home. Once home, spread your findings out in front of you and ask your child to draw pictures using only the colors that match your findings. For example, since a dandelion flower is yellow with a green stem, I would use only a yellow and green crayon to draw an image. This activity is great for 2-5-year-olds because it reinforces color association and color recognition.
What’s That Sound?
“What’s That Sound” is a fun game to help your child discern sounds and strengthen listening skills. To start, you’ll need a blindfold and different household items that could make interesting sounds, like pots, pans, plastic containers, buckets, drinking glasses, LEGOs, etc. You’ll also need a wooden or metal spoon to serve as a drumstick.
- To start, display the “instruments” in front of your child and allow him/her to survey each one.
- Put the blindfold on your child or, if your child is afraid of wearing a blindfold, ask him/her to close his/her eyes tightly.
- Play an instrument and ask your child to guess which instrument s/he heard and, if possible, tell why. For instance, I may guess a plastic container if the sound is hollow, while a drinking glass may have a higher pitched sound.
- Have your child open his/her eyes to confirm or disconfirm his/her guess. Repeat until all of the instruments have been played. Talk about the activity. Was it hard or easy to determine the instruments? Which ones sounded similar? Why?
- Switch roles and let your child play the instruments while you guess the sound.
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:
One feature that sets this app apart from the others is the motion control, which works in a similar way to the X-Box Kinect full body game system. After creating his/her art masterpiece, your child simply waves his/her hand in front of the screen to activate the music. Awesome, right? The music could also be played by touch or automatic playback. Oh, and if you have a rather chatty little one (like I do), let your child record his/her own voice to add to the musical fun.
“Do”, a Deer, a Female Deer
If your child draws seven shapes on the screen and then plays them, s/he will hear the major scale, aka the Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti song. This “song” is actually a system of learning that assigns a syllable to each note to make it easier for musicians to learn songs. It teaches the idea of intervals and allows people to hear music in their heads to strengthen their musical ear. Let Julie Andrews take your child on a musical theory adventure with this clip from the film, The Sound of Music. As Ms. Andrews reminds us, “When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything!”
Extend the app experience with a real life activity:
Jackson Pollock, Artist Extraordinaire
There are a multitude of great artists that 2-5-year-olds could get into, but Jackson Pollock’s art speaks to children in many ways. His abstract, expressionistic “drip” technique artwork is dynamic and encourages free flowing, energetic painting. Mr. Pollock challenged the art conventions of the time by using household paint and canvases on the floor, allowing him to paint from various directions. Why not let your little one channel his/her own inner Jackson Pollock with this online painting tool? To paint, move the computer mouse around the screen and, if you need to erase, just press the space bar. To change colors, click on the screen. Really cool stuff.
Kazoo’s the Word
Music is a wonderful medium for young learners, as it encourages extended play and deep creativity. Good news: homemade instruments are easy, peasy, lemon squeezy to make, like this fun kazoo! You’ll need an empty toilet paper roll, wax paper, a rubberband, scissors, and hole punch.
First, use the hole punch to create a hole in the side of the toilet paper roll as far as the puncher will reach.
Cut a piece of wax paper large enough to fit over one end of the toilet paper roll.
Secure the wax paper to the roll using a rubber band.
Use crayons to decorate the kazoo.
To play the cool kazoo that you just made, put your mouth against the open end of the kazoo. Hum and let the music take you over!
Ask your child questions to inspire critical thinking: What sounds do you hear? Hum a different tune. Do the sounds change? How are the sounds being made? (Answer: Your humming makes the wax paper vibrate, creating sound.)
Picture books are powerful mediums. They can convey information in ways that just make sense to young learners. Tap into the power of books with this list of well-loved titles. The books about colors cover primary colors as well as more abstract tones. Meanwhile, the music books give a general overview of music, talk about the vitality of music, and how music could be made with simple materials. Happy reading!
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
- The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
- Pantone: Colors by Pantone
- My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss