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Rhythm Instrument Activities for Preschoolers

March 17th, 2015 | 1 min. read

By Jenna Roby

Rhythm activities are a great to teach preschoolers and young children lessons across a variety of topics. From music to language to science...and math!


Rhythm instrument activities are a great way to welcome spring! Get children moving with these easy-to-do preschool rhythm instrument activities from Abigail Flesch Connors, MEd, author of Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Rhythm Instruments and More for Active Learning and 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children.  Help children welcome this long-awaited season with these active, creative rhythm instrument activities.


Going for a Walk (Shakers)

Spring is a great time to get outside and go for a walk. Shakers like to walk too – but inside – in this easy activity. Children should be sitting in a circle, each holding a shaker.

  • Holding your shaker upright, make it “walk” around on the floor in front of you while sing to the tune of  “Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Fire Truck”:

Going for a walk with my little shaker,

Going for a walk with my little shaker,

Going for a walk with my little shaker,

Going for a walk today!

  • But shakers like to do more than just walk! Try these movements:

Going for a run… (like walking but faster!)

Going for a jump… (holding the shaker upright, make it jump on the floor.)

  • Ask children for more ideas.  They might want the shakers to spin, wiggle or fly! Even if their ideas are unconventional (say, driving, or kicking a ball), find a way to make it work. Contributing their own ideas to group activities is a great boost for children’s self-confidence!


All the Little Ducks (Sand Blocks)

Sand blocks become the webbed feet of little ducks in this activity. This would be a good tie-in after reading a story about ducks, or for a unit on farm animals.

  • Hold sand blocks together and open and close like a quacking beak while singing to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”:

All the little ducks go quack, quack, quack,

Quack, quack, quack,

Quack, quack, quack,

Oh, all the little ducks go quack, quack, quack,

All around the pond                

Additional verses:

All the little ducks go waddle, waddle, waddle…

(Hold sand blocks face down on the floor and make them waddle)


All the little ducks go swim, swim, swim…

(Scrape sand blocks together on the floor in a swimming motion)


All the little ducks go fly, fly, fly…

(Hold sand blocks in the air like wings and flap them)


What else could the little ducks do? Your children will have some great ideas! Encourage them to think creatively and construct a fun activity together.

Author(s)Abigail Flesch Connors

Jenna Roby

A graduate of High Point University, Jenna Roby served as marketing specialist for Gryphon House from 2013-2015.