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25 Fun Summer Music Activities that Kids, Parents, and Teachers Will Love

Are you teaching summer school, daycare, camp, or learning at home? Keep your kids busy and learning with fun summer music activities for kids.

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The summer months of June and July include many fun and meaningful events that inspire thematic music activities for kids. Whether you’re teaching music in the classroom, working at a daycare or summer camp, homeschooling, or seeking to keep your children engaged and stimulated throughout the summer break, these music activities can be a great addition to your summer learning plans.

With a range of motivational ideas to explore, you’re sure to find some joyful and creative music activities in this blog post.

Be joyful. Be creative. Experience music.

Music Activities for Elementary Students | Summer Activities for Learning at Home, Camp, or School

June 2024 Holidays & Observances

The observances below will spark ideas for MANY fun learning opportunities. And, you don’t have to stick to these specific dates. Be flexible. Use these suggestions as a starting point, and let your imagination lead you to create engaging learning experiences for your students or children.

  • June 1 – Pen Pal Day/National Trails Day
  • June 3 – World Bicycle Day
  • June 5 – World Environment Day
  • June 6 – D-Day WWII/National Yo-Yo Day
  • June 7 – Daniel Boone Day/National Donut Day
  • June 8 – Best Friends Day/World Ocean Day
  • June 9 – Donald Duck Day
  • June 11 – King Kamehameha Day
  • June 12 – Red Rose Day
  • June 14 – Flag Day
  • June 16 – Fathers’ Day/
  • June 18 – Go Fishing Day/International Picnic Day
  • June 19 – Juneteenth
  • June 20 – First Day of Summer
  • June 21 – World Day of Music
  • June 27 – National Sun Glasses Day/Bingo Day
  • June 28 – Paul Bunyan Day
  • June 30 – National Meteor Day
National Trails Day Summer Activities for the Elementary Music Classroom
Go Fishing Day Summer Activities for Kids Elementary Music Classroom

June Monthly Observances

  • African American Music Appreciation Month
  • National Zoo and Aquarium Month
  • National Camping Month
  • National Accordion Awareness Month
  • National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
  • National Oceans Month
  • National Rivers Month

June Weekly Observances

  • National Fishing and Boating Week – June 1-9
  • National Garden Week – June 2-8

July 2024 Holidays & Observances

  • July 1 – Canada Day / International Joke Day
  • July 4 – Independence Day (U.S.)
  • July 7 – World Chocolate Day
  • July 10 – Teddy Bear Picnic Day
  • July 11 – Cheer up the Lonely Day
  • July 12 – National Simplicity Day
  • July 13 – Barbershop Music Appreciation Day
  • July 14 – Shark Awareness Day
  • July 17 – World Emoji Day 😊
  • July 18 – World Listening Day
  • July 20 – Moon Day (1969 – the day man first walked on the moon)
  • July 21 – National Ice Cream Day
  • July 24 – Cousins Day
  • July 27 – National Day of the Cowboy
  • July 29 – International Tiger Day
  • July 30 – International Day of Friendship
Teddy Bear Picnic Summer Activities for Kids
National Day of the Cowboy Summer Music Activities for Kids. Image shows cowboy boots, hat, lasso, and small step stool.

July Monthly Observances

  • National Children Make a Difference Month
  • National Ice Cream Month
  • National Picnic Month
  • National Hot Dog Month
National Ice Cream Day Summer Activities for Kids

FREE Rhythm Clip Cards with Ice Cream Theme

Need a FUN way to teach or practice simple rhythm patterns using standard music notation? Ice cream “clip it” cards are perfect summer music activities.

These FREE Rhythm Pattern Identification Cards are an engaging, interactive way for kids to practice reading simple rhythm patterns.

If you need more challenging rhythm pattern cards, we’ve got you covered! Our leveled set features 22 sequential Rhythm Pattern Identification Cards designed for Grades K-5.

This graduated set is thoughtfully differentiated to meet the needs of any elementary music classroom. Whether you’re looking to reinforce foundational skills or stretch your students’ abilities, this set offers an excellent range of complexity and variety.

P.S. Don’t forget the ice cream. 😊

Music Storybooks for Elementary Kids

Down by the Bay

Using storybooks is always a fun way to engage kids and introduce a new song. There are various versions of Down by the Bay, but my personal favorite is by Raffi. One verse that never fails to make my kids giggle is “Did you ever see a llama eating his pajamas?”

Encouraging children to make up their own verses is an excellent way to foster their creativity and imagination while having fun with the song. In our classroom, we’ve even created our own illustrated books featuring a page from each student. One of our favorite “homemade” verses is “Did you ever see a creature kissing a teacher?” 😊

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

If your students are ready to sing rounds and simple harmonies, Row, Row, Row Your Boat is a classic choice. Younger children will enjoy singing the song in unison. This storybook is an enjoyable way to introduce this traditional tune to your class.

Don’t forget to check your local library for other books you can read and sing together. Raffi, in particular, has a wonderful series of books that will delight your kids.

Music Activities for Elementary Students | Summer Favorites for School, Camp, Distance Learning

Add Virtual or Real Classroom Instruments

Use a phrase of Row, Row, Row Your Boat as a simple Orff-style melodic accompaniment for the song. Or, if your students are more advanced, teach them to play the entire melody. Perform it in unison first. Then, when your kids are ready, play it in a round.

Are you at home without any classroom instruments? Download a free xylophone or keyboard app or help your kids practice. Or perform using an online digital instrument at Dr. Musik’s Virtual Xylophone below. (This works best if you have a touch screen.)

Have You Tried Garage Band?

If you have an iPad or a Mac computer and your students are up for a challenge, try using GarageBand. Encourage older elementary students to compose and record their own multi-layered accompaniments. With GarageBand, the possibilities are endless!

We’re Going on a Lion Hunt

David Axtell’s We’re Going on a Lion Hunt is a spin on the classic camp song, Goin’ on a Bear Hunt. To make the storybook interactive, try reading it in an echo fashion with your students.

Set the tempo by patting “footsteps” on your lap (alternating hands) and then add sound effects and actions to match each part of the story. Encourage your kids to echo you as you journey together through the book. This is a fun and engaging way to bring the story to life and get your students involved in the action.

Add the following motions and sound effects as you read about each section.

  • Grass – rub hands together
  • Lake – swimming arms
  • Swamp – stepping hands on lap as if stepping through thick mud
  • Cave – tiptoe hands on lap with whisper voices

As you and your students “make your way back home,” increase the tempo of the story to simulate running back home. This adds an exciting sense of urgency to the story.

Music Activities for Elementary Students | Summer Favorites for School, Camp, Distance Learning

Summer is Time for Camp Songs

There’s no shortage of fun camp songs that can be used to teach a variety of musical skills, including harmonic singing. While they can all be sung in unison, many camp songs are perfect for introducing simple descants, rounds, and partner songs to your upper elementary students.

In addition, camp songs may be used to create basic rhythmic or melodic Orff accompaniments. For more inspiration on how to use camp songs to develop performance and music reading skills, take a peek at the blog posts below.

Online Music Activities for Elementary Kids

Do you need a few quieter afternoon activities to get your children out of the hot summer sun for a little while? Music Literacy Boom Cards provide constructive online learning in an environment that feels like play.

These Boom Cards cover a range of music literacy skills, such as melodic and rhythmic dictation, treble and bass clef note identification, identifying higher/lower, and melodic direction. Plus, there are plenty of Free Music Boom Cards to get you started.

For more information on how to use and assess music reading skills with Boom Cards, be sure to check out the blog post linked below.

How to Develop and Assess Music Reading Skills with Boom Cards

Free No-Prep or Low-Prep Summer Music Activities

Think of the following activities as loosely planned PBLs (Project Based Learning). But, don’t do all of the work when introducing the activities. The more planning kids take on, the more they’ll learn.

Sound Scavenger Hunt

To start, ask students to identify and record a variety of sounds from their environment. They could write down a list of sounds or use a device to record them. Then, challenge them to create a classification system for their sounds. For example, they could sort them into categories such as natural versus man-made sounds, different types of animals or insects, or indoor versus outdoor sounds.

With their sounds organized, students can then use them to create a unique piece of music or sound art. Encourage them to be creative and experiment with different ways of arranging the sounds. They could even create a visual representation of their sounds, such as a graphic score or a video collage. Remember to let the students take the lead on this project-based learning activity – the more they plan and create, the more they will learn!

Storybook SoundScape

Provide your students with a storybook and have them come up with sound effects to accompany the story. Depending on their age, the sound effects can be created vocally, through body percussion, with “found instruments,” real instruments, or online virtual instruments.

You can find free sound effects on Freesound.org. To make it even more fun, consider recording the performance as an audiobook, a radio show, or a podcast.

Write and Perform a Play

Sometimes, all it takes to overcome summer boredom is a few simple prompts that ignite creativity. Provide your kids with ideas to create their own plays.

They can choose to recreate a well-known storybook or fairy tale with a unique twist, or they can invent an entirely original script. Depending on the level of complexity, you can encourage them to incorporate elements like costumes, staging, and sets. Alternatively, you can opt for a “black-box” style production, utilizing minimal staging and props.

To preserve and share their hard work, consider recording the performance on video. This way, you can save the memories or even share their creation with others.

Music Activities for Elementary Students | Summer Activities for Learning at Home, Camp, or School

Puppet Shows May Take Many Different Forms

Children who may be hesitant to perform on stage can often find confidence in acting behind a puppet. Puppets can be as simple as paper cutouts on popsicle sticks or sock puppets with drawn or painted features. Alternatively, puppets can be more elaborate and detailed.

Shadow Puppets – to create a shadow puppet show, drape a white sheet and place a flashlight, lamp, or other light source behind the “actors.”

Host a Recital, Concert, or Talent Show

You can organize a live in-person recital with a small group of friends or family members, or schedule an online performance using Zoom, Google Meet, or another platform. Alternatively, you could also film your live performance and share it online.

Tips for a Successful Recital

To ensure a successful recital, provide your kids with the following guidelines:

  • Help them choose a suitable piece of music and stick to their selection.
  • Set a date and time for the event and send out invitations or save-the-date announcements.
  • Allow enough time for them to refine their performances, but not so much that they lose interest.
  • Schedule daily rehearsal time to help them feel confident and ready to perform.
  • Provide simple performance tips and rehearsal techniques to guide them.
  • Hold a dress rehearsal and record the event to help them overcome performance anxiety.

Encourage kids to stay focused, be confident, and enjoy their performance on the big day.

Film a Movie or Music Video

Making a movie is different from putting on a play since it involves filming scene by scene rather than performing live. During every summer, my cousins would come and stay with us on our farm and we had a tradition of making a movie during their visit. Usually, we did not have a fully formed script when we started filming and the storyline developed as we filmed.

The unpredictable plot twists and turns of our movie projects led to some unique and imaginative finished products which were often inspired by the costumes and props we could gather up. Take a deep dive into your closets and find some existing props and costumes. Then give your kids pencils and paper to see what they create.

Music Activities for Elementary Students | Summer Activities for Learning at Home, Camp, or School

We still cherish those videos as family keepsakes. Don’t assume that your kids have outgrown this activity. We’re now on our second generation of movie-making, though admittedly not as frequent as before. Nowadays, our children are the ones taking the lead roles.

Whether you’re in a school or home setting, guide your aspiring “movie stars” and begin shooting!

Chrome Music Lab

Encourage students to explore and experiment with the fun features of Chrome Music Lab. The Song Maker feature allows them to create their own songs. They can also create lyrics or use an existing poem or story and set it to music.

Encourage kids to use their creations as background music for plays, films, or puppet shows. Or they could present them as part of a recital or talent show.

Summer is for Being Creative

Everyone’s summer break looks different. However you are spending your summer, make time to be creative. Music activities for elementary students, middle school, and even adults can be the highlight of their summer days.

Be joyful. Be creative. Experience music.

More Fun Activities for Summertime and Beyond

Below are dinner-time games and music video activities that we have gathered for you. Enjoy!

Summer Teacher Resources

Meet the Author

Terri Lloyd is a former elementary music teacher with over 25 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Music, a Master of Science in Education, and a Technology Certificate in Instructional Design.

She is currently active in music education through blogging, workshops, and curriculum development. She serves on the music staff at her church and volunteers for an after-school children’s program. Terri is an active musician in the community, performing in a local Big Band, pit orchestras, and various events.

More Ways to Connect – Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.

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