Learning to Love Animals and Music

May is a busy month for many reasons. The school year is winding down, and the pre-summer excitement is setting in. But before we’re off for Memorial Day, there’s still lots to learn. This month, we’re exploring two of our favorite things: animals and music!

Check out two great learning opportunities kids of all ages can enjoy at home with friends and family.

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Be Kind to Animals Week: May 7-13

This special week has been observed for over a century, and encourages everything from education to adoption. It also highlights the importance of teaching kids how to be kind and compassionate to all different types of animals. Check out a few fun activities below, and visit the Kindness site for a list of convenient and fun materials specifically made for kids of various grade levels.

  • Take the Kindness Pledge for one (or all) of the four causes
  • Turn your backyard into an animal-friendly oasis by hanging birdfeeders from tree branches (the higher you go the better, to keep squirrels out!)
  • Head to the library and choose a few animal-related books to read this week
  • Visit a petting zoo and have kids identify and describe the qualities of different animals
  • Adopt a pet from a local shelter
  • If you or someone you know has a pet, throw an impromptu party to appreciate your furry (or scaly, or feathery, or…) friends!

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National Music Week: May 7-14

From phonological awareness to literacy development, music unleashes a ton of benefits on kids’ brains. Music also helps children cultivate language and math skills. It’s a great way for kids to learn to listen as well as express themselves. Turn up the volume with these fun ideas:

  • Play songs from a few different genres, and have kids try to identify what instruments they hear in each one
  • Teach kids about tempo. Set up a station with crayons and plenty of sheets of paper. Play a fast song and have kids draw fast, then play a slow song and have them draw slowly
  • If your child already plays an instrument, set up a special concert night for friends and family to enjoy
  • Listen to your child’s favorite song and identify any rhyming words
  • Host a listening party and stick to a theme, like playing songs from your kids’ favorite movies
  • Craft a set of homemade instruments! You can easily make a shaker, box guitar, trumpet and more with just a few household items

We’re just a month out from summer, so here’s a friendly reminder of how important it is for kids to continually refresh the lessons and skills they learned this year. Check out the shocking statistics of learning loss, and get the scoop on how to prevent that with our super fun summer camp!

Cover image via Sally Palmer