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12 Activities of Christmas 12: Twelve Drummers Drumming

Following on from our ‘Eleven Pipers Piping’ activity, this is another loud, musical one! Prepare to channel your inner Keith Moon, all while tracking your children’s progress. This plan can suit most ages and all sizes of group.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this creative and expressive activity today:

What you will need:

Anything that can be drummed on/used for drumming!

  • Toy drums
  • Pots and pans
  • Wooden spoons
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Wooden boxes
  • Flip-flops
  • Cardboard tubes (kitchen roll tubes are longer and will work better than toilet roll tubes)
  • Plastic bottles

Music – some samba might be fun as the heavy drum beat could encourage participation.

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Preparing the activity:

1. Set out your ‘drum equipment’ around the play area so children can pick what they want to play with at their leisure.

Doing the activity:

Demonstrate drumming on the various items around the room, then let the children play how they want. Play some music and encourage the children to acknowledge it and play along!

Help the children tap out a beat together or, for older children, discuss the differences between the noises (e.g. the box makes a deeper ‘thud’ noise but the pan makes a tinny ‘bang’).

Adapting the Activity:

As this plan doesn’t focus on Christmas, there will be no problem using it as a non-Christmas activity.

Tracking the activity:

8-20 months

Communication and Language: Listening and attention; “Moves whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.; Has a strong exploratory impulse.; Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods.”

Understanding the world: The world; “Closely observes what animals, people and vehicles do.; Knows things are used in different ways, e.g. a ball for rolling or throwing, a toy car for pushing.”

­­­­­­Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.; Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.; Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.; Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.”

16-26 months

Understanding the world: The world; “Explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking.”

­­­­­­Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.; Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.; Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.; Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.”

22-36 months

­­­­­­Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Creates sounds by banging, shaking, tapping or blowing.; Shows an interest in the way musical instruments sound.”

30-50 months

­­­­­­Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Beginning to move rhythmically.; Imitates movement in response to music.; Taps out simple repeated rhythms.; Explores and learns how sounds can be changed.”

40-60+ months

­­­­­­Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials; “Explores the different sounds of instruments.”