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Rhythm Music Activities for Infants

Rhythm Music Activities for Infants | Gryphon House

Infant music activities are a fun and exciting way to inspire learning in children right from the start. An effective way to engage and encourage your little learners to explore their curiosity and creativity, music and movement activities for infants are a wonderful tool to promote development that benefits your baby in all areas.

Abigail Flesch Connors’ book Shake, Rattle, and Roll, is full of rhythm and music activities for infants as well as music and movement activities for preschoolers.

Here are some rhythm activities from Shake, Rattle, and Roll that are fun for both infants and toddlers!


Quiet as a Mouse

Preschoolers love to be loud, but being quiet can be fun, too (especially for the teachers). Actually, it is a challenge to keep a quiet tone throughout this activity, with the rhythm sticks and the voice.


1. While tapping the sticks together, chant or sing very softly to the tune of “Hot Cross Buns”:

Quiet as a mouse,

Quiet as a mouse,

In his little mouse house. (tap the sticks together very softly)

Quiet as a mouse

2. Repeat the chant while quietly scraping the sticks, hammers, drumming on the floor, and any other movements the children come up with.
3. Variation:  For fun, you can also try chanting, “Loud as a dinosaur in his big dinosaur house,” but beware! No dinosaur was ever louder than a room full of preschoolers!

Learning Benefits:

  • Cognitive development (soft and loud)
  • Curiosity
  • Improvisation and creative thinking
  • Phonemic awareness (rhyme)
  • Rhythmic awareness
  • Science (using light force to make quiet sounds)
  • Social Skills



This activity is easy enough for all preschool-age groups.


1. Ask the children to stand in a circle while holding their shakers.
2. Gently rub your shaker on your arm, and sing to the tune of “Here We Go Looby Loo”:

Shakin’ it on your arm.

Shakin’ it on your arm.

Shakin’ it on your arm.

Shakety-shakety-shake. (shake the shaker in the air to the beat)

3. Additional verses:

Shakin’ it on your knee…

Shakin’ it on your tummy…

Shakin’ it on your head… (gently)

Shakin’ it on your shoulder…

4. Have the children suggest other body parts to shake the shaker on.

Learning Benefits:

  • Curiosity
  • Fine-motor skills
  • Improvisation and creative thinking
  • Kinesthetic awareness (shaking the shaker on different parts of the body)
  • Patterns (the first three lines differ from the fourth line- an AAAB pattern)
  • Social skills

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