When teaching 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. To start, 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. With their creative minds they can even create their instrument! Another fun thing to do with sound is make a sound machine with them. Each picks and performs their chosen sound and then create the form. Play with sound and have fun, expands their lungs and enhance their diction. Maybe make a sound machine of only consonant sounds or animal sounds.