Rhythm and rhyme play is important in helping your child develop skills to read. It is also good for developing numeracy skills as rhythm is counting! Here are a few activities to help your child development in rhythm and rhyming:
- Rhythm Ruckus – Use various items from around your house to make noise and rhythm. You can use pots and pans, various toys, containers, mixing bowls, wooden spoons, etc.
- Freeze Dance – Pick your favourite music out together. Play the music and have your family dance around the room. When the music stops, you “freeze” (4-5 seconds) until the music resumes. Try different kinds of movements and different kinds of moves.
- Making Shakers – Make your own homemade rhythm instruments from materials you have at home. Find containers with lids i.e. peanut butter jars. Fill them with materials such as rice, sand, beans, and macaroni. Glue the lid shut if it is a choking hazard for your child. Experiment with the different sounds that you can make with your shakers. Trying playing fast, then slow, then LOUD, the soft. Move your shakers to the beat of your favourite songs!
- Singing Together – Children love to sing to you and with you. They love songs that include movement (ex. Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes).
- Read various rhymes and poems – There are many books available at your local library with poems and rhymes. You can also find a multitude online.
In the few minutes that it takes to do one of these activities, your child:
- is learning new words
- develops a sense of rhyming and rhythm
- uses imagination and creativity
- pays attention to the sounds in words, important in learning to read
- associates words with actions
- imitates and experiments with sounds, rhyming and rhythm