RHYTHMIC MOVEMENT SKILLS
Rhythmic movement skills refers to the ability to control ones own body movements in a controlled integrated fashion. The following activities are designed to strengthen and develop rhythmic ability which is so important to academic readiness.
- To begin with, it is best to begin with rhythm patterns that involve only one side of the body.
- Bongo drums or just a plain drum is an excellent beginning source to develop rhythm. Beat out a constant rhythm pattern in which all of the beats are of equal lengths and equally spaced (da-da-da-da). Ask the child to repeat on his drum what you have produced. If necessary, let the child beat his drum along with you.
- Alter the rhythm pattern by increasing or decreasing the over-all rate-beat fast and then beat slow. When the child is able to identify the rhythm and tempo and is able to reproduce it watching you, ask him to close his eyes and listen to your beat and then reproduce it.
- As your child gains in ability, introduce a two beat rhythm (da-dit, da-dit, da-dit). Repeat the above procedure. After this, go to a three, four, or five-beat rhythm. In all these rhythm exercises, be sure that the child establishes a smooth rhythmic flow.
- After the child has gained control, rhythmically, in one side of the body, then you may introduce rhythm patterns that involve alternate movements from right to left or together. Start out with simple patterns and build from there.
- Encourage your child to sing action rhymes involving finger play. Example: “The Itsy Bitsy Spider;” etc…
- Clap out rhythm patterns and encourage your child to make-up his own patterns and have you reproduce it.