Advice Centre > For Parents & Students > Learning Resources > Primary > Junior Infants > Activity books for Junior Infants: art and music

As a parent to a child who is currently a Junior Infant or ageing up shortly, having the right resources in place can make all the difference. Activity books are excellent educational tools for helping your child learn new skills while also having fun, both inside and outside of school, independently and with friends.

As two naturally creative subjects, art and music education can benefit from the use of activity books to support skills development and monitor progress. In the visual arts curriculum for Primary Schools, drawing, paint, colour and print are key strands of teaching and learning. For music, the three strands are listening and responding, performing and composing. All of these areas are designed to help children express their ideas, feelings and experiences in creative ways.

Read on to find out why art and music are important subjects for early years development, how you can support your Junior Infant with their art or music practice, and the best resources on offer to help provide those valuable opportunities.

Why art and music are important to child development

An art and music education is far more valuable to early years development than just providing light relief from academic learning. A solid visual art and music-based curriculum in Primary School can provide plenty of opportunities for creative growth and personal expression. Engaging in art activities and music workshops can directly stimulate brain activity, nurturing emotional development and connection with learning.

Beyond keeping kids motivated to learn, arts and music lessons can help improve confidence, self-discipline, communication skills, memory and even reading comprehension. Whether you're keen for your child to learn a musical instrument or get involved with everyday activities and class learning, art and music should be an invaluable part of their education in the Junior Infants key stage.

Fostering the creativity of children also has plenty of benefits. Art and music can provide an excellent foundation for education and the perfect environment for developing life skills beyond facts and figures. By encouraging independent thinking and child-led group activities, Junior Infants can grow their social skills and improve their critical thinking.

Supporting your Junior Infant with their artistic or musical development

While much of your child's music and arts education will happen in the classroom, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of ways you can support their learning and development outside of school hours. Simply giving your child some unscheduled time to explore their hobbies and interests can demonstrate that being creative doesn't have to be restricted to lessons and graded by a teacher.

If your home can accommodate it, you might consider designating a specific space for practicing art or music. This might be a spare room or even just a section of the living room, but having a dedicated space to create will allow your child to concentrate on their craft without distraction or pressure to be perfect.

You could also choose to integrate more structured play sessions, using sensory learning such as playing with paint, sand or other materials to create art. Key concepts in visual arts at the Junior Infants level include line, shape and form, as well as colour, texture, patterns and space. By practicing with your child at home using different media, you will be supporting their learning continuity and progression.

Finally, one of the most effective ways to get involved in your child's enthusiasm for creating art or music is to find out what they are particularly enthusiastic about so that you can provide the necessary resources. This may be singing along with songs from their favourite films, playing a specific instrument, or expressive arts through painting or drawing.

Finding the right art/music activity book for your Junior Infant

For your child’s in-school learning, the activity books they will need will be determined by their school and the curriculum. However, if you want some additional songbooks or colouring books to use at home, there are a few factors you might want to bear in mind when looking for the right resource for your child.

Firstly, consider your child’s current abilities and how an activity book can help them develop those skills further. If they enjoy singing but are a bit shy with performing, there are books available that work on building confidence while also strengthening general musical abilities through fun activities and age-appropriate language.

The best activity books will recognise their progress and achievements so that both you and your child can appreciate milestones in their skills development. Resources should also offer opportunities for improvement or continued learning so that children don’t feel any pressure to be perfect artists or musicians at such a young age.

Art activity books

Folens Rainy Days Junior Infants

Folens – Rainy Days – Junior Infants

This colourful book is designed to improve motor control skills, direction and visual discrimination. Colouring and other Junior Infant-level activities give children a way to concentrate their attention while developing vital skills.

Usborne Publishing Ltd Little Children's Activity Book

Usborne Publishing Ltd – Little Children's Activity Book

A combination of engaging activities, simple puzzles and fun mazes make this bright and eye-catching children's book an ideal choice for Junior Infants developing their problem-solving skills. The book also includes four pages of stickers that can be used to interact with the activities.

Penguin Books Peppa Pig Peppa's Bumper Colouring Book

Penguin Books – Peppa Pig – Peppa's Bumper Colouring Book

Ideal for Peppa Pig fans, this colouring and activity book invites children to go on adventures with the beloved character and his family.

Crayola Fun Friends Colouring and Activity Book

Crayola Fun Friends Colouring and Activity Book

An official resource from Crayola, this exciting 400-page activity book is themed around friends so is ideal for collaboration. Art and skill-building activities are focused on fun and friendship, making this an excellent choice for developing creativity in Junior Infants.

Music activity books

CJ Fallon Ready to Rock A Junior Infants

CJ Fallon – Ready to Rock A – Junior Infants

Children who love to sing will enjoy this musical journey book. Best friends Ricky Rhythm and Casey Ceol guide children through the strands and strand units of the music curriculum, with songs ranging from Irish-language to Angolan, traditional to futuristic.

Edco Music Box A Junior Infants

Edco – Music Box A – Junior Infants

This classic book contains multiple units containing three strands on listening, performing and composing music, helping to build confidence in an age-appropriate manner. One unit is taught per month and the addition of games and activities is designed to complement lesson plans and make learning more enjoyable. An included certificate recognises achievement, while an end-of-year quiz helps to see exactly how much your child has developed.

Music Made Easy Junior Infants Workbook

Music Made Easy – Junior Infants Workbook

A total of 36 pages of work are included in this simple yet enjoyable music book. With child-like drawings and plenty of instruction to cover 20 sessions, this easy workbook covers all the musical essentials a Junior Infant needs.

Edco Let's Make Music A & B

Edco – Let's Make Music! A & B

This series covers Junior Infants to Sixth Class and is designed to help non-specialist teachers deliver the three strands of the Revised Music Curriculum through an integrated approach. Each book has 10 units with plenty of activities for listening, performing and composing. At the Junior Infants level, music notation is introduced through playing percussion instruments.