To introduce the concept of bar lines, we played "Teacher May I" (see last previous blog post) again but instead used chocolate chip quarter notes (w/ pretzel stems), marshmallow half note (w/ pretzel stems) and Marshmallow whole notes (Big Marshmallows). The children "ordered" notes to add up to 4 beat measures and then also "ordered" bar lines (pretzel sticks) to divide up their measures into groups of 4 beats.
I just discovered this fun free printable music game in the "printables" at Joy Morin's site http://colorinmypiano.com/. I like it because it is relatively short but reviews both note names on the staff and music symbols. I adapted it for my preschoolers by replacing the cards with 2 sets of cards under the "games" tab on Susan Paradis's website - "Fish Rhythm Cards for Beginners" and "Flashcards for Flyswatter Games." Even my 3 year old loves this game when I use only the "fly" notes on the staff that she has been introduced to so far.
Snack time activities are always my preschooler's favorite. To introduce the concept of 4 beat measures we played this fun game for snack time. I "tied" small teddy bear cookies together with chocolate frosting. Then we named the bear snacks - single bears=quarter notes, 2 bears stuck together=half notes, 3 bears=dotted half notes and 4 bears=whole notes. The children took turns ordering teddy bear snacks from me. They could only order snacks that would add up to 4 beats (one measure). For example they said "Teacher may I have 1 quarter note bear and 1 dotted half note bear(3 bears stuck together with frosting)." This had the added benefit of reviewing their knowledge of correct note names and the number of beats in each note.
Often young children have a hard time distinguishing between line and space notes on the staff. Check out this fun Easter Egg Notes worksheet. Have your child write "L" on the "egg notes" that are sitting on lines and "S" for notes that are in the spaces between the lines. This can also be used to help them review note names on the staff later. For more seasonal worksheets like this follow the link to Susan Paradis's website on the right.