While we may all hate to admit it, sometimes summer can seem like a chore, especially when planning activities to keep children entertained. Whether as a parent with children at home, a camp counselor looking to keep kids engaged, or a kid yourself, the summer months bring plenty of opportunities to combine seasonal fun with a little bit of drumming. While we never recommend using a hand drum or percussion instrument near water, there are always alternatives to the beat of a djembe that can delight both adults and kids alike.
Since summer is naturally associated with the presence of water, it makes sense to use household objects instead of real instruments. Buckets that are used for games outside can be flipped over and set up as a drum set, or in a circle for a makeshift drum jam. Kids can not only discover the fun of drumming, but, there is a high level of exploration of sound and resonance available using different buckets and “drum sticks” made from various objects. This initial exploration can create an unending curiosity for drums and music overall, all while cooling off by the pool or under the shade of a favorite tree.
The process of creating drums can even go beyond buckets used for water activities. Household objects can be fashioned into drums and a wide range of "repurposed" percussion instruments, giving kids even more opportunity for hands-on learning activities in summer. For even more fun, kids can explore yard sales and garage sales to see what other objects and materials can be transformed into drums and percussion instruments.
Of course, for the drummers out there who just want to jam, bringing kids into the drum circle is always a great idea in summer (and throughout the year). Kids love to drum, and connecting the generations with rhythm and drums will forever be the best summer activity for everyone.