School is out and the world has opened up for a summer of fun in the sun. Keeping children entertained over a long summer break can be challenging for even the most active and inventive parent or caregiver. Whether the challenge is entertaining a group of kids at camp or home, battling the rainy weather that comes and goes or just finding something new to make a memory, drumming can be an easy way to occupy, entertain and educate our youth this summer.
Kids love drums and drumming, especially in a group setting. Setting a group of drums in a room with a group of kids has the potential to provide hours of entertainment as they all join in the fun and begin to create music together. Drumming can be more than just entertainment, however, as it also encourages a wide range of social and academic skills, as well as helps to alleviate stress and anxiety with children. Drumming works well for groups of children with a wide range of ages and abilities, and it benefits children with special needs, as well. Much like a drum circle comprised of adults, a drum circle with children can help reduce the pressure of a social situation for children, as well as teach children how to work cooperatively with each other, regardless of age, ability or experience drumming.
Make drumming even more fun by helping children find and even create a drum. Not everyone has a Djembe or set of bongo drums lying around, but the same entertainment can be found by using items around the house. Plastic containers and buckets or pots and pans are easy substitutions for drums. Making a homemade Cajon drum from an old box (just as Cajons were, originally) works well, and provides a great history lesson at the same time. Bottles and rice or beads can easily turn into shakers, and crafty types can create a shekere from boxes by stringing a net of beads around the outside.
Summer can be a challenging time for any parent or caregiver, but it also opens up the chance to be a kid again. Keeping the beat going throughout the season benefits the children, as well as the adult, and can make lasting memories for a lifetime, as well as instill a love of music and rhythm within a child.