This week I’m featuring the rhythm sticks! I love these instruments especially for groups due to the fact that they are inexpensive, compact, easy to clean and easy to play. Adaptations can also be easily made for those who cannot traditionally play the sticks with two hands which is always a plus! The rhythm sticks can be used with all age groups which also adds to their versatility. So here are a few ways that I use the sticks with my groups!
1. Rhythm– As the instrument name suggests…. Rhythm sticks are great for Rhythm! Whether you are encouraging tempo changes, call and response, or following a steady beat with the group, sticks work great!
2. Spatial Awareness– Encourage playing in different directions such as above the head, down by the toes, to the left, to the right, etc. This can also be done with body awareness by encouraging playing by/on certain body parts.
3. Motor Movement– Not only does the act of playing the sticks encourage motor skills (grasp, rhythm, hand-eye coordination, etc.) but you can encourage playing in various movement patterns. For example, taking the directions teaching spatial awareness (Up, Down, Left, Right) mix up different combinations encouraging movement as desired.
4. Teamwork- Give everyone only one stick and encourage them to find a partner to work with to create cued rhythms or simply play along together.
5. Letters/Shapes- Use the sticks to create different letters of the alphabet or different shapes on the floor while working with kids.
So there are 5 ways that I use rhythm sticks in my therapy sessions! How do you use them?! Feel free to add to the list in the comments below!