- Play drums or homemade improvisations such as pots or cardboard boxes with wooden spoons
Recipe for Fun!
Play a simple rhythm and have the child repeat that same rhythm. Gradually increase the challenge with longer, more complex rhythms. Then switch roles and have the child play a rhythm for you to repeat. Or sing a familiar song while you both tap to the beat.
- Develops listening skills as children keep the beat of a song using the drums.
- Strengthens manual skills needed for writing, especially when using drumsticks (or holding wooden spoons).
- Encourages vocalizations and verbalizations as children make a sound they are working on in speech therapy or sing a familiar song as they play.
- Encourages communication and expression without the requirement of words.
- For children who have trouble holding the sticks, have them use their hands directly on the drums.
- Beat to the rhythm of the song to help kids learn to listen (receptive language). Sing along with the song to encourage verbalization (expressive language).
- Have children play the drums to represent how they feel. This is one way for a child to communicate feelings he may not be able to verbally explain.
- Have children follow your directions, such as, “Beat loud,” “Tap softly,” “Play fast,” “Go slow.” This will help them learn concepts and opposites as well as follow directions.
- Have children say their name while tapping the syllables on the drum. This can also be done with weekly spelling words.
- Have two children sit together and take turns playing a rhythm. This kind of turn taking introduces the idea of conversations: listening (receptive language) and replying (expressive language).