Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Piano Preschool Snackmats

For piano preschool this year, my students favorite activities centered around working on their "snackmats." I used a variety of snacks including goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, cheerios, marshmallows, fruit loops, etc. to reinforce the concepts I introduced that day. My snackmats were simply white cardstock inside a sheet protector with a staff printed on one side and a piano keyboard on the other side. Next time I might jazz them up a bit more by mounting them on colored paper, letting the students decorate the border and covering them with clear contact paper. Following are a few ideas for using them:
On the Keyboard side-
Call out note names for students to place snacks on. If they place it correctly, they can eat it.
  • Cover the groups of 2 black keys (or 3 black keys)
  • "Hey Diddle Diddle the D's in the Middle"
  • Cover all the white keys stepping up the keyboard
  • Cover all the white keys skipping up the keyboard
  • Cover all of the keys that are in the C 5 finger scale
  • Cover all of the G's with a green fruit snack
Make fruit loop necklace "trains" by stringing fruit loops onto yarn. Then have students make tunnels with their hands on the keyboard while you drag their trains under their tunnels.

Set a snack on each white key. Practice picking up the snacks with different finger numbers. For example "Pick up a 'C' with fingers 1 and 3."

On the Grand Staff Side
Call out locations on the grand staff for students to place snacks on. If they place it correctly, they can eat it. You could make the "game" more competitive or challenging for older students by playing Simon Says. Here are a few ideas.
  • Cover all the of line notes (or space notes) with snacks.
  • Put a snack on middle C.
  • Put a snack on the Treble Clef (or bass clef)
  • Make a quarter note (w/ a chocolate chip and pretzel stick) and put it on the Bass Staff.
  • Make a half note (w/ a marshmallow and pretzel stick) and put it on the Treble Staff.
  • Cover the 2 dots on the bass clef (f clef), then put a "note" on the f line.
  • Make a Bar Line with Pretzels to divide your staff into 2 measures
  • Cover up the brace with snacks.
  • "Copy" one measure in your music by placing snack notes on the staff to match the rhythm and note names in your song.
Build Rhythm Patterns or measures on the staff w/ chocolate chips marshmallows and pretzels and practice clapping and then eating them.
Play "Snacks Between the Bar Lines" or "M&M's Stepping on the Staff".


  1. What a cute idea!! I am wanting to get into doing preschool piano classes in the future, and will definitely remember this. Thanks!

  2. I love teaching preschool music! People keep calling me the Kindermusic teacher though. GRrr.. but, I guess that means many elements are the same. These snack mats however would be a wonderful departure and a clear winner with my Montessori kids. Thanks for the idea! Will share and follow you on pintrest.

  3. Wow... what a great idea...

    Can't wait till we try :)