Thunderhoof Clip Clops to the Guiro


Tucson, AZ has a wonderful tradition of an annual rodeo.  The Old Pueblo gets in the spirit of the occasion with school closures, the largest non-motorized parade in the country and plenty of hootin’ and hollering.  It’s a fun time to look forward to every year, and as a music teacher, I completely embrace this piece of culture.  One way I celebrate our “Rodeo Days” is by incorporating musical instruments into cowboy-style stories.

This week, I am reading a very sweet one.  The story, “Thunderhoof,” is by Syd Hoff, the same guy who wrote “Danny and the Dinosaur.” describes the book by saying, “Thunderhoof, a wild horse, refuses to be tamed by the cowboys but misses their company after they give up and turn him loose.”  It is a darling tale, and the children I read it to all love it.


Click HERE to go to Amazon to view the book for purchase or here is a picture if you want to check it our from the library:


The Activity

This activity is intended from preschoolers.

To complete it, you will need a copy of the book, “Thunderhoof.”  You will also need a guiro.  Click HERE to view one for purchase on, and here’s a picture,too:


Horses make a great sound when they clip clop all around, and I try to use the back and forth scraping guiro sound when Thunderhoof runs from the cowboys trying to tame him.  I’ve used several instruments for this story before, and besides the guiro, coconut shells make an excellent sound, as well.

Before reading the story to your children, create a pattern or rhythm on the guiro that sounds as similar to a horse’s clip clop as possible.  Have your children imitate the sound by creating a gallop with clapping on their laps.  As you read the story, change the pattern to match Thunderhoof’s running, walking, bucking off a cowboy, etc.  Your child will love the interaction of the story and will be working with rhythm, patterns and sound all while being musically engaged.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Top 10 Tuesday music activity.  For a complete list of the Top 10 instruments under $40 that will help promote music education in the home, click HERE.  Until next week, play on!




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