May 20, 2013

Instrument Exploration with Baby: Piano

Welcome to the "Music Fun for Your Little One" series brought to you by House of Burke and And Next Comes L, where we will be featuring a variety of activities perfect for introducing music to young children.

I really wanted to take this week to introduce Kingston's to different instruments and really give him the opportunity to explore them in creative ways. Naturally, I chose to start with the instrument I am most familiar with, the piano. I took piano lessons for upwards of 5 years as a child, and I really loved it. Since then, I have unfortunately let my formal training go to the wayside, but I still remember how to play a few songs from memory and read music. I wanted to let Kingston explore all the little pianos he has back to back, so that he could try to gain an understanding of their relation to each other.

A classic first instrument that most households have is the Little Tikes Tap-a-Tune Piano. Ours is electric blue and adorable. K is definitely no stranger to playing this piano. He loves it. There isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't play with it once or twice. If I play a song, he goes wild and wants to join in. So, yesterday I brought it over to him to play some music.

I like to start to put it down a foot or so away from him and let him grab it himself. This always seems to make it even more exciting for him! He grabbed the piano and dragged it over so that it was positioned right in front of him.

Immediately, he began smacking the piano keys. I love the above shot of his little hand in action! He was really focused while he banged out a his baby composition. I always call his toys by their proper names, but I reiterated that this was a piano and then pointed out all the different colors of the piano to him. I talked about real pianos and how they have black and white keys. 

Then I played a little song for him. I hummed along and rocked back and forth as I played. He could not resist joining in, and was so excited to be making music with Mama! We played songs together for awhile, and I made up lyrics to them. K thought this was so funny!

After we played with his little blue piano, we went downstairs to the playroom to play with a couple more. The first one we played with was his Fisher-Price Little Superstar Step N' Play Piano, We got this from a friend, and it is missing the seat part (I had planned on finding out how to get the attachment separately, but at this point it won't be long before he can use it standing up!), so Kingston hasn't used it much yet. I have a feeling once he can stand, it will be his favorite toy! This thing is awesome, it has a step piano, a piano to play with your hands, drum beats, microphones, a trumpet, etc. 

I love that it incorporates music and gross motor skills for one big musical dance party! As soon as we put K on it, he was excited. He was laughing (this kid has the most hilarious and adorable laugh .. it's like a deep little frat boy "ha. ha. ha." I love it!) and grabbing for the piano! 

When he got a good grip on it, he started rocking back and forth and trying to pick his feet up. As your feet play the keys on the bottom, the top piano keys light up to be played. I told him he was playing the "big piano"! He was so adorable rocking out. I couldn't resist taking a ton of pictures. 

He took his time exploring the different features of the toy. Dada was having a great time assisting K in his jam session too. Kingston got the brilliant idea to use his booty to play the piano. He plopped down and started smacking the big keys. Pure musical genius! This kid was clearly born to be a star. 

And of course I couldn't help but get a picture of the little tootsies!

The last piano Kingston explored was the Fisher-Price Miracles and Milestones Peek-a-Boo Piano. This piano can be both a kicking piano in baby's crib or a sit and play piano. Kingston has never played with this one either, but you would have thought he was a professional piano player at this point by the way he tickled the ivories! This piano also has a little birdie on it that says "Hi Baby" and other creepy things. K loved it of course. He loves anything that I deem creepy. 

This is the only baby piano we have that actually has black and white keys, so I took this opportunity to point them out to Kingston and to explain that this was what a "real" piano looked like. Then I played a few notes for him. He had fun sliding his hands down the entire keyboard. I was impressed with his skills! Mostly, he just reached for the creepy talking bird. So much for our formal piano lesson!

I always try to incorporate art into whatever we are learning about. What's better than combining art AND music, right? I wanted to make some kind piano, but couldn't figure out how to make it baby friendly. I wanted Kingston to be the one to create it. I finally came up with a tape resist piano! This was the perfect project for my little guy because he loves to try to rip his painting projects off his high chair. Due to the insane amount of tape I put on to make the piano design, he wasn't able to move it at all!

For the paper, I used a blank wedding invitation. These are my absolute favorite canvases to use for smaller projects. I made a piano design the best I could using masking tape. I looked at a Google image for reference. Then I simply put it down on his high chair using the overhanging tape to adhere it down. I didn't have any black fingerpaint, so I combined every fingerpaint I had (purple, turquoise, blue, green, red, orange, and yellow) in varying amounts. It worked! 

Kingston got right into it. At first he actually looked like he was playing a little piano because he was just painting the keys. Then he began painting the entire paper with sweeping and wiping motions. I got a great action shot. While he painted, I played him piano music via YouTube. After a few seconds, I began to mimic it and pretend I was the piano. Kingston thought that this was hilarious. Oh this baby sure knows how to boost his Mama's ego! 

After he was done, we let the paint dry, and then I gently removed the tape. Using a piece of paper as a ruler, I drew lines with black marker to complete the piano. I showed it to Kingston and we pretended to play it. 

We had a lot of fun with our babified piano exploration! I am excited to introduce K to even more instruments throughout the week. 

Don't forget to join us all week for more "Music Fun for Your Little One" activities! Or check out the other posts in this series: 

Music Themed Sensory Bin (And Next Comes L)
Piano Quiet Book Page (And Next Comes L)


  1. What a great piano craft.
    He looks like he is having a blast on the pianos!

  2. You seriously do so many fun things with him! I love the tape resist piano! So cute!