Two Butterfly (Spring) Music Therapy Activities for Children 1. Instrumental 2. Drama

The Caterpillar songToday, one of my four-year-olds made a brilliant connection and it spurred a whole new

activity that would fit in any spring and/or butterfly unit!


I picked up a white “knock-knock” egg (one of a pair of wooden oval spheres that I bought for a dollar at a craft store) and said “look, a caterpillar egg!”  Griffin then pointed at the fish/guirro and exclaimed  “and that’s a chrysilis!”  Love it!!


So for the rest of the day, we had the life cycle of a butterfly in instruments right in front of our eyes, and then our ears.


Two eggs were the caterpillar’s eggs.

Two short rainsticks were the caterpillars.

Two fish standing up were the chrysilises

and two group of  two tambourines held together were the two butterflies. 


Griffin made my day. 


We then alternated between having each group of children come up front and playing their specified instrument in turn,  and having the entire group play together.  To make this easier, the kids placed their instruments under their chairs until I played an obvious musical cue (big V7 chord)  and said “let’s all play together, everyone.” 


Tune: The Farmer in the Dell

Sample words:


Everybody play. Everybody play. Let’s join in together. Everybody play.


Then as each smaller group came up with their specific instruments, I sang something like:


Let’s listen to the eggs.  Let’s listen to the eggs.  Amber and Ellion great! Let’s listen to the eggs. 


We had a ball.  It tied in with the classroom lessons and it was something NEW for this veteran MT to do all day! 


After that all we acted out the words to my Caterpillar Song on the floor and around the table.

If you can’t move around as such, this original tune can be done while seated!





Yo- Ho, Pass the Anchor! A music therapy activity social skills game for elementary aged students

Ages: Elementary School

Variations can be done with children as young as 3 and 4.

Purpose: To improve social skills. To attend, cooperate, take and relinquish turns

and share with a friend.

Yo-ho pull the anchor. Yo-ho pull it now.

Yo-ho pull the anchor. Who is the captain now? (I am the captain now.)

We modify the song and sing “Yo-ho Pass the Ring.”

and “Stop. You’re the captain now.

Link to melody is below.

Equipment: A drum, xylophone or other instrument/toy to share.   Lyrics. A buddy band or elasto band threaded through a ring or other “threadable” object. (Mental picture: a bead on a necklace.)   The ends of our buddy band detach and we put a ring from a toddler ring stacker toy through it and pass that from person to person. You can put rope or paper around the buddy band if you need.

Sit class in a circle and have everyone hold the buddy band with the ring.   Practice passing the ring from child to child. When the children can do that, then sing the song while the children pass. Sing the song through and Stop as the lyrics cue.   Invite that child to play the instrument in the middle of the circle while the children sing and pass again.   Continue until each child has a turn.


Ask a question to the child who has the ring on a topic relevant to the needs of the group.

Ask the child to share with a friend. Make sure everyone has a turn to choose and friend and to be chosen.

Have each child answer the question “Who is the captain now?” by answering

“I am the captain now.”




by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy tunes.