3 Easy Ways to Spark Your Snow Day Creativity

22 Jan

I am currently enjoying snow day #2 in Baltimore! While it’s been nice to have an EXTRA-long weekend, I find that I end up feeling blah when I spend multiple days in my PJs without getting much done. I’d like to share a few simple ways to spark your session planning creativity on days off without ever having to leave your house…or put on real clothing (shout out to my fleece polka dot pants—you have served me well this weekend).

1.    IMPORTANT: Do something for you!

Whether it’s catching up on some reading, watching that guilty pleasure show you’ve had recorded on your DVR for days or just sleeping in, it’s really important to spend some time taking care of yourself on a day off. Once you do this, I guarantee that you’ll have more motivation to tackle your to-do list.

(I won’t admit that I spent two hours catching up on Downton Abbey today…okay, FINE! But it was amazing to just sit on the couch and relax for a bit.)

 2.    Look through all of your music therapy supplies (instruments, visuals, books) and think of one new activity or song…that can be used with something you already own.

You’ll be surprised how quickly the ideas start flowing when you take the time to look through all those binders and boxes. Yesterday, I sat down and sifted through one of my “music therapy bins” (of which I have many!) that contained some singable books, rhythm sticks and a new set of boomwhackers. 5 minutes later, I came up with a new intervention involving these items that I’m really excited to use.

Noisy-Poems-Bennett-Jill-9780192763259One of the items in my bin was a book called “Noisy Poems” by Jill Bennett. After flipping through it, I realized it was filled with DRUMMING ACTIVITIES GALORE! Each page of the book contains a different poem filled with various sound words and rhymes. My favorite is a poem called “Song of the Train,” which mostly consists of “clickety-clack” sounds. Can somebody say rhythm sticks?

  • Have clients hit two rhythm sticks (or boomwhackers) each time they hear the words “clickety clack” read
  • Pair the poem with an original melody and have clients keep a steady beat with their rhythm sticks
    • Start slowly, speed up then slow down to mimic a train traveling between stations
  • Have clients orchestra the poem using a variety of instruments (drums, boomwhackers, rhythm sticks, train whistle, guiro)

3.    Spend a half hour looking for inspiration on Pinterest or music therapy blogs. 

There are few things I love more than adding a great new activity to my repertoire! Before I start searching, I often make a list of a few items I might be looking for (instrument songs, DIY visuals, session themes). This helps me narrow my search and ensures that I don’t get too distracted looking at unrelated pages (cough RECIPES cough).  If you’re browsing Pinterest, a great place to start is in the “Education” section. There, you’ll find lots of ideas for teachers that can easily be adapted for use in a music therapy setting.

photo-5Today, I spent my internet time expanding on item #2 (see above; AKA Operation: Save Money and Use What You  Already Own!) and found some fantastic blog posts with interventions based on some of my new singable books and instruments.

 After just a few minutes of searching, I came across:


It’s so easy to expand your collection of songs and activities with a little time and some help from fellow MTs. Thanks for those great ideas, blogger friends! 🙂

What do you do on snow days to keep your creativity flowing and your interventions growing?

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