We're going to the Moon with this Rhythm Exercise
Clapping out a rhythm is a very important musical skill, so I've been wanting to do a clapping activity with the playschool kids for a while now. So when I was listening to Charlie Hope's "Zoom Zoom Zoom", I thought it would be a great song to use as the basis for a clapping rhythm exercise that would fit in with our theme of space, rocketships, and going to the moon!
Here's a short video of Charlie performing the song. Note that she claps out the beat (the steady pulse of the song), whereas for this exercise we're going to clap out the rhythm (matching the way the words of the song are sung).
To start the activity, get the children to sing along with Charlie's track and do her special "rocket clap" to the beat of the song. When you move on to the rhythm exercise, don't play the track, because it's a bit too fast! Rather, sing the song yourself, teaching the clapping as you go.
Get the children to start by putting their palms together and pointing their fingers up to make a rocketship. This is just to start the song and carry through the rocket idea - they'll clap normally for the rhythm exercise.
Get the children to clap three times, holding each clap for about half a second each. Count 1-2-3 initially, then say, "Zoom, zoom, zoom," as the children clap.
Then tell the children for each clap they were doing, they must now do two claps: 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, or to fit in with the words, "We're go-ing to the moon." Clap this out a few times.
Next, the children can tap on their knees as they are sitting cross-legged in the following way:
If you (2 taps on right knee) want to (two taps on left knee)
Take a (2 taps on right knee) trip (one longer tap on left knee)
Climb a- (2 taps on right knee) board the (two taps on left knee)
Rocket (2 taps on right knee) ship (one longer tap on left knee)
Then repeat "Zoom, zoom, zoom, we're going to the moon; Zoom zoom zoom, we'll be there very soon."
Sing the song a few times, then (as a challenge) try and clap the rhythm with the track, and see if you can keep up with Charlie! I must say, I couldn't! :)
I found that the 4-year-olds coped very well with this exercise. Doing the alternative tapping on their knees was initially a challenge, but by the end of the exercise, many of them were tapping along to the rhythm quite well.
Looking for more fun musical activities to do with your kids?
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