Lakeland Reformed Church Embraces Outdoor Musical Play

Lakeland Reformed Church has embraced outdoor play at their Daycare and Preschool with a number of outdoor musical instruments inspired by their faith.

The Church, in Vicksburg, Michigan, recently purchased a wall-mounted set of Percussion Play Rainbow Chimes to expand their popular 'Music Wall' - the creation of which was inspired by Psalm 100 which reads 'Make a joyful noise unto the Lord'.

"We know God smiles when he hears us!" says Cindy Palmer, Director of Lakeland Creative Beginnings Daycare and Preschool.

Children and members of the congregation are now all enjoying creating beautiful music together inspired by their faith. The outdoor musical instruments are inclusive, meaning all ages and abilities can come together to play and create music. For children, playing outdoor musical instruments with their elders can speed up the development of social skills, emotional processing, communication, self-esteem, and intelligence - due to a combination of the cognitive responses to music-making and the effects of spending time learning from/with people outside of their age group. All of these things are hugely important in the formative years of childhood and set children up far better to enter into adolescence and adulthood as balanced, happy, socially intelligent, and well-rounded people.

The Rainbow Chimes with their harmonious pentatonic notes are ideal for developing a sense of rhythm and coordination in children. Playing the chimes encourages and improves hand-to-eye coordination with their size and colors making them particularly appealing for smaller establishments such as pre-schools, and kindergartens.

Play is essential for all children’s development and outdoor play is particularly important. Increasing and improving their outdoor space to incorporate the benefits of musical play was an obvious move for the Lakeland Church. Palmer says, “We recognize the value of musical experiences and how they accelerate brain development in language and literacy. Research also tells us that children who learn to keep a rhythm or steady beat often improve in math skills.”

Cindy confirms that everyone at the church, spanning multi-generations, is benefitting from the music wall.

“We absolutely love the instruments added to our playground, so many children ages 3-100 have enjoyed making music outside! They are instilling a newfound love for music in some while encouraging others to develop their skills. The tone of the Rainbow Chimes is so real it sounds like church bells when played. By far the best update we have made to our outdoor space!"

“Music speaks to us mind, body, and spirit.”

Jody Ashfield, Founder, and CEO of Percussion Play says, “It’s never been more important to encourage children’s outdoor play and we are thrilled to see Churches such as Lakeside Reformed Church embrace outdoor musical instruments. We are delighted to see children enjoying the instruments that are inspired by their faith and reaping the rewards of musical play.”