Piano Beanbags

Today I just wanted to share something fun I made for my daughter! I have been teaching my 3-year-old daughter piano lately, and she really loves it. Her almost-2-year-old brother likes to tag along as well; it's a fun part of our day!

Sometimes when I get awakened early in the morning by my *darling* children, the wheels in my mind start turning and I just can't shut it off and go back to sleep - this was one of those early morning ideas that came to me last week, and it turned out so fun!

Since my daughter is pretty little, right now we are doing a combination of piano basics (keyboard topography, black key patterns, high/low, etc.), pre-staff notation/rote songs, music & movement, games on my giant floor keyboard, etc. I wanted a fun way to get her to start recognizing the different white keys without necessarily quizzing her on the letter names (she is still learning her alphabet anyway, and doesn't know them all yet). So I made these fun beanbags for her! Each beanbag has either 2 black keys or 3 black keys with their coordinating white keys; each also has a colorful circle on one of the white keys.

When I sewed these my daughter was thrilled! We have put them to good use already. Here are a few of the ways we have used them in her lessons:

*matching them up with the black key groups on the giant floor keyboard (she puts them on either a 2-black-key group or a 3-black-key group)

*matching them up on the giant floor keyboard with the specific white key shown with the colorful circle - she got the hang of this so quick and did a great job! A good first step to learning the letter names on the keyboard.

*putting them all together in a row in the correct pattern (2 black keys, 3 black keys, 2 black keys, 3 black keys) to make a beanbag keyboard

*pretending to play some of her little songs on the beanbags once they are put together in a row!

The backs of the beanbags are just fun colorful patterns.

I'm having lots of fun teaching my daughter and focusing on coming up with ideas for one-on-one lessons for preschoolers. They are such a fun age group, and are so excited about music and learning things that it is a perfect age to start if you do it right (LOTS and lots of off-the-bench learning, music and movement, listening games, and just teaching with excitement and joy). 

What things have you found that work with teaching little ones? Or with teaching your own children?

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