(This is part 2 of our Discovering Rhythm Series. You can find the first lesson here.)
To help child begin to notice and identify rhythm and beat in daily life.
-Attention to Detail
-Health/Science tie-ins if heart beat is included
-Hands or drum (pot with spoon, etc)
-Various household sounds that have rhythm or beat such as: child’s heart, parent’s heart, pet’s heart, dishwasher, clothes washer, microwave or oven beeper, telephone, dryer, clock, pet scratching, bird singing, cars going by, etc
-“Today we are going to listen to the beats, the rhythm, of the world around us! Our lives are filled with lots of beats and patterns and rhythm! Close your eyes, what sound do you hear? Does it have a beat, a rhythm?”
-Let child close eyes and listen. It would be helpful to ensure that the washer is going or there is some other easy sound for the child to hear immediately.
-“Excellent! What is the beat?
-Is it fast or slow?
-Is it a long beat or a short one?
-Is it loud or soft or a mix?
-Can we clap it out?” Let child clap. Help if necessary.
-“Let’s listen for more!” Continue with activity until the child starts to lose interest.
1) If the child is able to take notes (or draw), the child might want to draw the beats with big and little x’s or whatever other notation the child might choose.
2) A stethoscope might be helpful for listening to heart beat, especially in animals.
3) If listening to heart beats, consider asking “Who has the faster heart beat? Why do you think that is?”
4) If there are not many sounds that have discernable beats, consider looking up heart beats or other sounds on youtube or other service.
These activities are presented without assumption of your child’s age or developmental stage. Children grow and develop so quickly during early childhood, but they are still learning how to control their bodies and are taking in enormous information—everything is brand new!
If you try an activity and your child is unable to complete it, relax 😊. That is normal for children. Adjust the activities to your child’s level or do a different activity entirely. Perhaps come back to an activity in 3 or 6 or 12 months and try again.
We cannot emphasize enough that the MOST important part of these activities is exposure and fun—exposure of the child to new ideas and fun with the parent so the child has a long term, enduring idea that learning is a good thing.