What to do with this activity?
Rhythm games are very enjoyable (if noisy) and will help your child develop motor, memory and listening skills. With a little drum, or by clapping, get your child to copy a simple rhythm pattern that you create. Make it happen like a conversation - first one sounding the rhythm, then the other copying it, back and forth. Change the rhythm every now and then, and see if your child can copy the new pattern. Swop roles and let your child create a new rhythm pattern that you can copy.
Enjoy the rhythm in words too. Make rhythms out of your child's name or their friends' names. Chant, clap or drum those rhythms out - "Aoi-fe-Sull-i-van" or "Seán-Mac-Lough-lin". Do the same with phrases like "rash-ers-and-saus-a-ges" or "Cork-and-Kil-ken-ny" or "Dub-lin-Dub-lin". See if they can hold their own rhythm while you drum or chant another rhythm at the same time. And don't forget, you can make drums out of materials that you find around the house - wooden spoons, tins, cardboard boxes. You can muffle the improvised drum sticks by wrapping them in a duster if you want to protect your ears!
Why am I doing this?
Children’s ability to think and understand experiences develops by listening and speaking. As a child’s language becomes more complex so does their ability to understand more complex thoughts and ideas. The family is the child’s first source of language and learning and there are lots of everyday activities that occur in the home, which can help children’s language skills. Your child will get better at using words when they practice words and hear the sounds of words.
How can I do more?
Just keep talking and listening. Normal routines provide lots of opportunities for conversation and for all the family to learn new things. If you are walking down a street, point out things you see and talk about them. Explain new words, show the colours or point out shapes. Ask your child what animals or buildings they like. There’s no end to what you can talk about together.
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