Soft Toys and Rhythm

Age Range: 5 - 7
By: Sue Watson

Using soft toys for rhythm work is very useful with younger children for learning to clap patterns and for making up patterns.

Teddy bear, fish, hedgehog, and so on can be introduced for the different note values. The children can clap the names of the toys, can arrange them in any order to make up their own patterns which they then clap back on their own or with the rest of the group.

The patterns can be transferred to instruments and a composition can be built up over time using a combination of patterns and instruments. Other ideas include using the toys for the "Traffic Light Game" (game for internalising sound). Instead of using coloured card, for starting and stopping various sections of a song such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, large soft toys in bright colours can be used instead. The pupils start singing the song and the toys are used to stop and start anywhere. When the children stop singing out loud, they have to continue the singin in their heads to start again at the correct place, which is why a song which is most familiar is best to use.

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