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Make a Musical Story | Toddler Music Crafts

Make a Musical Story

Total Time Needed: 1 Hour

In the wonderful children's classic "Peter and the Wolf" (see our favorite CDs, below), composer Sergey Prokofiev assigned an instrument to each of his characters: strings accompany the young protagonist, an oboe signals the appearance of the duck, French horns ominously warn of the wolf's approach. His goal was to introduce kids to the sounds of the orchestra, and it's truly the music that brings this heroic tale to life. Now, we're not suggesting you write your own symphony, but you can try this at home!


  • Your child's favorite books
  • Dress-up clothes (optional)
  • Instrument


  1. Just select a story that you and your child know well, such as The Cat in the Hat, Little Red Riding Hood, or a familiar homespun yarn. Ask him to pick one character (he might want to don an accompanying costume from your dress-up box) and one instrument you have at hand.
  2. Explain that he should play his instrument each time he hears his character's name. Then read the story and, if you like, take on a role yourself. (This makes a great group activity too. Just assign one character/instrument to each child.)

For some extra inspiration, check out these tot-friendly recordings of Prokofiev's classic composition:

"Peter and the Wolf," narrated by Patrick Stewart, performed by the Orchestre de l'Opera de Lyon (Erato, $17 CD)

"David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf," performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra (RCA, $11 CD)