All through December we are sharing the story of the Nutcracker in our music classes. It’s the second week in and parents are already telling us their children are coming home talking about what they are learning. Of course, many are sending their parents out for a nutcracker of their own. Wouldn’t you?

This week we have gotten to the point in the story where the Sugar Plum Fairy entertains Clara and her Prince by inviting subjects from her kingdom to perform. 

Being able to modify this activity makes it ideal for everyone especially mixed age groups. Below is the activity guide with modifications for each age group. We’d love to hear how your child or class liked it!



Teamwork, listening to music, moving to music, high and low, auditory discrimination, problem solving, listening and responding to classical music


  • Scarves for each child
  • Recording of song
  • Parachute


  • Ask the children to show you with their hands “high” and “low”.
  • Tell them they will be listening to music with both “high” and “low” sounds.
  • When they hear “high” sounds, those will be played by flutes, ask them to put their hands up high when they hear the flutes play.
  • When they hear “low” sounds, those will be played by the strings, ask them to put their hands down low when they hear the strings play.
  • Turn on music and move hands as the music indicates. Play just about :20 of music.
  • Turn on music and move hands as the music indicates. Play just about :20 of music.
  • Take out a scarf and show moving the scarf “high” and “low”.
  • Pass out a scarf to each child.
  • Have them stand up and spread out.
  • Turn on music and move scarves as indicated. Be ready for both strings and flutes to play together.


  • Turn on music and model moving hands “high” and “low”. Encourage them to join in if able. Play just a short excerpt of the song.
  • Pass out scarves to each child and turn on music.
  • Toddlers who are mobile can be encouraged to move around the room with the scarf.
  • For infants, gently bring the scarf down over them on the “low” sounds.
  • Place the infants under the parachute before starting the song – they’ll love all the colors!


  • On a following day use the same recording but use a parachute instead of scarves.
  • Explain how each child will need to find a loop and bring it up on “high” and down on “low” – just like the scarves.
  • Turn on music.