Hand Bells are an attractive and meaningful addition to your pre-schooler’s percussion box.
Here are three simple ways to increase your child’s visual, aural and spacial awareness while preparing him for “real” instrumental lessons. Buy the best set of bells you can afford. This will give you more chance of the bells being true to the pitch of their letter name. In other words an “E” bell will sound the same pitch as an E on the piano. An “A” bell will sound like an A etc.
Activity 1. Place the bells in a container, box or bag. Encourage your child to select bells at random from the container. As he selects a bell, talk about what the bell looks like. What colour is it? How does it sound? What is it made from? Why is it made from metal and not wood or glass? (resnance and non-breakable). Children are very curious. Think of as many aspects of the bell to talk about as you can before chatting about the sound of the bell. Continue in this way until all the bells are on the mat or floor or table in front of you both.
Play one bell at a time listening to the sound it makes. Is it a long sound, a short sound, a “thin” sound and can you change the sound it makes by the way you play it?
Activity 2. Lay all the bells out on the mat or table in alphabetical order. Encourage your child to play with the bells at random. There will probably be 8 bells. Place 5 of the bells to the side and tell your child that you are going to play a memory game. Ask your child to play, once each, the 3 bells left on the table in any order. Ask them to watch you as you play the same 3 bells in the same order. Ask them if you played them in the correct order.
Repeat this game a few times with your child leading the game. Then swap over and see if your child can copy your pattern of playing the bells. This game can be as simple or complicated as you make it depending on the interest, attention span and curiosity of your child.
Activity 3. On pieces of cardboard small enough to fit under a bell draw the 8 letternames of the bells. Ask your child to hide the matching letternames under each bell. Make it a game for you to check each one. Now re-arrange the bells to hide a different lettername and construct a game of memory with your child. See if he can remember which letter was hidden under which bell.
for more hand bell games call or email me on 0418563226 or firstname.lastname@example.org