With young preschoolers I start out with doing basic clap, patch, and snap exercises with them to develop
coordination and rhythm and attention to following me and my changes. They feel it in their body and it is easiest for them.
The hand drum is fun for playing musical games with kids and keeping them on the beat!
I think everyone should have one. I would play a rhythm and then offer it to students in a circle to hit a beat of the
rhythm as a walked around. I didn't hesitate if they didn't hit the beat and went to the next child, but then went right back
to them - they were always ready and they all loved doing
this! As time passed and they got better with rhythms,
I would let different students take a turn and lead the rhythm. The melody bells
are great for ear training and allowing children to guess high or low or put them in order. Octave bells are best for beginners.
Then you can advance to chromatic. I think 8 inch rhythm sticks are the best
for young children and easier for them to handle and so much fun. The harmonica
is easy for a young child to play and it strengthens lungs like singing! The recorder is easy for a young child too.