Castanets! I realized this on Friday as I was planning the music activities for my church’s annual Breakfast With Santa event, and then I wondered how I hadn’t thought of it earlier. Rhythm sticks have always been my go-to instrument for reindeer hooves, but not anymore.
There are lots of castanets out there to choose from, but my personal favorites are these plastic beauties from Musician’s Friend. At 99 cents, they’re easily replaceable and sound great (if a little loud). Mine have held up extremely well; my students are not easy on instruments, but I haven’t had one castanet casualty yet!
Last year’s Breakfast at Santa music activities were fun (read about them here), but the castanets made this year’s even better. I always stick with a reindeer theme, so we sang classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Up on the Housetop” along with Listen & Learn originals, like Do You Hear the Reindeer? and The Other Eight Reindeer.
Have you experimented with holiday sound effects? Maybe you have an even better suggestion for reindeer hooves…if so, please do tell. There are plenty more school days left to fill before holiday break begins!
I’ve used castanets, woodblocks or temple blocks with a hard rubber mallet. One of the Musician’s Friend handheld tone blocks would also be an inexpensive alternative.
Great suggestions! Thanks, Emily!
Great idea! I’m looking to create a cd for my kids of Santa’s rooftop visit. Love the castanet idea! Thanks :)