rhythmic activities

March: Kids Marching, Drumming Play Activities

The name of the month inspires today’s post on kids marching, drumming play activities. After all, life is based on rhythm: breathing, heart rate, sleep-wake cycles, seasons, and more.

importance of music for kids

Kids seems to drum naturally. They will tap a pot lid on the floor or hit it with a wooden spoon. Hands clap over and over or shake a set of keys rhythmically. No matter the age or stage of children, drumming activities will occur over and over, with or without a drum. Little Sister is discovering how hitting the floor makes a different sound from hitting the drum. Like all kids, she will drum on a variety of surfaces. Some will bring parents running to see what’s making that terrible noise, like drumming on the heat registers which echoed all over the house. Make sure dogs, cats, and babies are not within reach of a toddler with a drumstick. importance of rhythmic activities for kids

Big Sister has made drums with a variety of items from the kitchen cupboard and the recycling basket. An old tin ,that holds buttons, as well as some plastic tubs, and empty food containers are being explored for the sounds they make. Chopsticks are an alternative to drumsticks. kids marching drumming play activities

Children are highly sensory, and drumming includes the senses of hearing and touch. You can ask your child to make some loud sounds, and some that are soft. So soft it’s almost a whisper? Can s/he make the drum beats fast, faster, and very fast? How about slow, slower, and really slow? These drumming play activities encourage careful listening, exploring, and concentrating.

Christmas music and songs for kids

Marching adds the sense of the body’s movement. Find some drum music and let your child march around. Is the music for slow marching or fast? Try some dance music. There are hundreds of YouTube videos on kids marching, drumming, and dancing to music. Even ants march. ants-go-marching

The website, Childhood 101 has a super post on Drumming Activities for Preschoolers with more ideas and suggestions, like echo drumming. Kids can copy a drumming pattern that you make. They love drumming something and then we have to copy them. Or they can drum for us to march. Doing chores to the beat of a drum makes it so much more interesting. Any chance kids can pick up their toys and put them away while we drum? Sometimes, counting out “1, 2, 3, march” will get kids out the door if we’re in a hurry. What are some other kids marching, drumming play activities?


Arts Fun: Rhythm Activities for Kids

Rhythm activities for kids start from something as simple as clapping. This video shows an ultrasound of an unborn baby clapping as the parents sing!

While the actions of the soon-to-be baby are astonishing, rhythm is no surprise. It’s very definitely part of our lives. Breathing and heartbeat are two constant rhythms from the very beginning to the very end of life and in between there’s the rhythm of walking, running, language, music, and more. Our world has the rhythm of day-night and seasons with variations on a theme. Is it any wonder that much of our art work and art play has rhythm?

rhythm activities for kidsBesides clapping, rhythm activities for kids can include dancing, marching around, jumping, hopping, and other actions either with or without music. Kids can hit two rocks, sticks, or blocks together.  Homemade maracas can be assembled with some small objects in a tin, plastic bottle or egg, or other container. Look for durability when buying.

rhythm activities for kidsDrums are a fun toy for playing rhythms and can also be made at home. Drums could be pails, yogurt or other containers, or tins with lids. The floor makes a giant drum and, in the car, the back of the seat in front of a child seems to have a sign on it that says “drum here.”

Rhythms can be fast-slow, simple-complicated, and loud-soft and make different patterns. Kids can tap their own patterns and we can play some for them to copy.

rhythm activities for kidsFor older kids, it’s fun to play rhythm games. Have you seen videos and clips of clapping with cups? You can show some to your preschooler and see what kinds of patterns your child can do. Families can do some of these together and it’s not always the young ones that find it a challenge.

rhythm activities for kidsHands, feet, and other body parts can tap out different sounds. If you can, do some Hambone for your child or check out some Youtube Hambone videos. Some of the Hambone artists have very white hair! (Hambone is a sort of body-slapping, such as hitting the thighs, hands, chest, mouth, arms, etc to make a variety of sounds. Kids often do these kinds of actions.

Rhythm activities for kids are another form of art work play. Can you include some rhythm fun for a play-of-the-day for your child?

Make Some Noise for New Year’s with a Homemade Noisemaker

New Year’s Eve is coming with more holiday excitement! While noisemakers are traditional, did you know for kids they stimulate all kinds of brain connections?

homemade noise makerTo welcome in the new year, kids can make their own. There are many different ideas for noise makers, but small objects such as beans and dried peas can be a concern and tend to fall out if all edges aren’t sealed. Here’s one that uses something much bigger, made from recycled items. To make this noise maker, use 2 aluminum pie plates the same size. Put two or three plastic spoons in one of the pie plates, put the other on top, and staple or tape in a few spots. Kids can decorate the pie plate with stickers, ribbon streamers, or markers. Surprisingly, plastic spoons inside 2 pie plates make lots of noise!

homemade noisemakerKids usually don’t need encouragement to make noise and they do it with their voices, bodies, and whatever they can find. As kids explore and play with noise, they are also discovering rhythm. Rhythmic activities are important for brain development and create brain pathways and connections used to learn language. Rhythm is part of life; just think of breathing and heartbeats. Many of our activities, such as walking and running, are rhythmic. As kids create noise and rhythm, they discover loud and soft, fast and slow, and other basic concepts. If you and your child each have a noisemaker, you can play a simple rhythm and let your child try and copy it. This encourages careful listening and memory. Or, you can clap a pattern, and your child can echo it with the noisemaker. Your child can have a turn and make one for you to tap or clap. Now, it’s your turn to listen and play back.

A simple noisemaker can be part of both fun and learning. Isn’t that something to celebrate?