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Hand Drums for Kids

Updated on October 16, 2014
robertzimmerman2 profile image

Robert is from south-east Florida and serves the world as a reference librarian. Also a musician, Bob plays bass in a Indie cover band.

Baby playing the Bongos
Baby playing the Bongos | Source

Music Education is Vital

Include your children in the musical fun! Kids love to play the drums, and hand drums are a great way to get them started playing a musical instrument!

Music instruction is important in the education of all children and since kids love to make noise anyway why not focus that energy into learning? Hand drums for kids is a great way to start any child on a simple musical instrument. Hand drums like the Bongos, Djembe, or Congas are all available in kid sizes, are safe and will survive in the harsh environment of a child's playroom.

Think about how you are always looking for ways to be with your child and interact with them. Also think about how parent child interaction is necessary for every child and how you, as the parent, can guide your child in positive play that connects play with learning.

What does Hand Drumming Teach a Child?

We have all seen a baby slapping their hands on some object around them just to connect with their environment and to have fun. Hand drumming can help focus that energy for a purpose - MAKING NOISE! Children love to make noise and it is another way they connect with the world around them and learn. The more varied a child's education is the more flexible they are as adults and flexibility is a great asset in modern life.

Eye Hand Coordination

Part of the reason children of all ages use their hands is the natural development of eye and hand coordination. Hand drumming helps them practice those skills while just having fun. Not only are they just slapping the drum to make a sound, they will develop skill in placing their hands at a specific spot and slapping the drum head with the palm. They will hear how the sound changes as they shift where they slap the drum and curiosity and experimentation will result.

Mathematics

There is one thing that defines percussion and that is the beat. The beat is a steady pulse the rest of the music is built upon. The beat can be subdivided and there you have another brain connection with hand drumming.

Starting with a simple ONE - TWO beat the child will learn to keep time mentally and physically. As the child gets to be a better player the subdivisions can be explained by ONE and TWO and to understand the time in between the main beats. This type of abstract thinking is important in many fields of enterprise plus it connects more parts of the brain.

Using their brain to figure this out can but them way ahead in the coming years when learning math and numbers!

Drumming Teaches Culture Diversity!

Native American Drum Circle
Native American Drum Circle | Source

Culture Diversity

How about putting on music from various parts of our Planet and playing the hand drum with your child? You both learn something new! Add a book with pictures of that people group and the child is exposed to another culture. Over time they will learn about people around the World that are different and see them as equals. As the child grows, this aspect can be integrated into other areas such as dance, language and food.

Our modern world is separated only by a few hours of air travel and many countries have a population made up of hundreds of cultures all working together. Drums are one instrument common to all cultures and having a child learn drumming becomes a link into other cultures. The child can think "They play drums too, only different!"

As such a child grows up and travels they will meet people from many cultures and they will always have something to talk about with their new friends!

Playskool Sesame Street Take-Along Band Set
Playskool Sesame Street Take-Along Band Set

Recommended for children 12 months and up

 
Remo Rhythm Club Bongo Drum - Rhythm Kids, 5"-6"
Remo Rhythm Club Bongo Drum - Rhythm Kids, 5"-6"

No sharp edges

For solo and drum circles

 

Teamwork

Playing percussion instruments with other people is challenging but it connects the people in ways similar to but different from speech. Sitting with your child and clapping while they practice the hand drum shows them that two people can work together for a common goal, multitasking, and sharing the spotlight. Adding songs or chants adds another layer to open up the child's mind to creative interaction.

You Have to Work Together to Play the Drums!

Two men playing the Drums
Two men playing the Drums | Source
A man and a boy playing Drums
A man and a boy playing Drums | Source
Two women playing Drums
Two women playing Drums | Source

Family Drum Circle

The Drum Circle is not just something your weird sister-in-law does with her Hippie friends! Drum Circles are an important part of many cultures around the world as a way to reinforce the community, educate children, pass down group history and values, connecting with other groups on common ground and even healing.

Drum circles do not have to have a religious context although for many people they do. You can have Family Drum Circle just for the fun of it. You have to invest in board games for family game night but are drums and percussion really any different?

Having more than one hand drum or percussion instrument on hand is mandatory if you have more than one child or if your children regularly play with others. Hand percussion instruments are an inexpensive investment in your children's physical and mental development.

Especially with younger children, when they are drumming you know where they are and what they are doing! (trust me on this)

Back to the family drum circle night idea, what if you also incorporated a video and regional foods from different parts of the world? One month it could be North American Nations, another Africa and the next South America. Now that's fun and educational!

Hand Drumming for Older Kids

As a child ages they are thrust into many situations where cooperation and teamwork are vital. These skills will then become all the more important in adult life. Music is one of the best ways to help children learn to work together on a project, how their part is important to the whole, supporting those with less experience and creating something wonderful.

Watch this short video and see all the different things these kids are leaning in this drum circle.

Remo Rhythm Club Konga Drum - Rhythm Kids, 6"
Remo Rhythm Club Konga Drum - Rhythm Kids, 6"

Plays standing on the floor or over the shoulder standing up!

 
Remo Kid's Gathering Drum - Large
Remo Kid's Gathering Drum - Large

Have the children gather around the drum for drum circle fun!

 

What aspects of Hand Drumming do YOU think are best for Children?

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In Conclusion

In this article I have offered information on Hand Drums for Kids and how learning hand drumming, even at an early age, can help the child develop physically and mentally. As the child grows, playing percussion with other children or in a family drum circle helps them underatnd that working together is more fun!

For older children, teamwork is a vital skill that will help them succeed in whatever they attempt in life. Plus, educating children on other cultures when young helps them see themselves and their family as part of the larger Human Family!

Drum On!

Your Thoughts

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    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Good hub, and I agree there are a lot of benefits for kids to learn . Write some more. Stella

    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Nice hub! Enjoyed reading about all the benefits of drumming for children. Mine are grown now, but someday I'll have grandchildren. Won't my kids be so HAPPY when I give their children DRUMS for Christmas? LOL But really, this is a great hub, useful information for parents and teachers!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      I agree that music is such a good resource in child development and hand drums would be a fun way to incorporate that.