Rhythmic Movement - Learning Through Kinaesthesia

Rhythmic movement is a way to learn kinaesthetically about math sets, sequencing, language phrasing and rhythms. Our whole life consists out of rhythmic pulses

We all remember our child’s first steps. We were so excited to let everybody know that our child has reached this very important milestone. We rush to the textbooks to determine if this milestone was within acceptable timeframes. The general perception is that boys are a bit lazier when it comes to developmental movement but this is not always true.

By doing rhythmic movement energetically in patterns, body-mind harmony is developed. Muscle movement using opposition of arms and legs also help develop right-left brain linkage. For example: walking up stairs with arms swinging alongside body. As the left foot steps forward, the right arm swings forward. This is a very important midline crossing exercise movement important for mathematical development.

To develop new concepts smoothly, the child should be allowed to learn with as many senses as possible. Wobbly or uncontrolled movement is normal for young children because they have not yet fully developed their fine and gross motor skills.


Points to remember:

  • Activities should be filled with fun and carried out harmoniously. There should be no pressure to participate or perform. This should be quality time between mother and child.
  • Clapping the rhythmic patterns with your child is a bonding activity. Harmonious interaction with individuals at an early stage of your child’s life leads to harmony within the individual, and harmonious interactions later as an adult in society.
  • Where possible all these activities should be performed bare feet. This optimally stimulates the nerves in the foot.

Walking, running and galloping activities all happen because of proper motor development. The body naturally feels and moves in rhythms.


Activities to enhance rhythmic movement:

Let toddlers dance freely to music

Give them scarves or ribbon rings to dance with. Expose toddlers to different kinds of music, Classical, Asian, African etc.


Do mirror dancing

Let your toddler stand next to you, looking at himself in the mirror. Dance to different tempo music. Make big movements with your body.


Play musical statues

Dance to any kind of music. As soon as the music stops, your toddler or child need to freeze and keep that position for as long as possible. Start to play the music again and he/she can move freely to the music.


Play musical chairs

The chairs are set up in two rows back to back (one chair less than the number of players). The music is turned on, and the players walk around the chairs. When the music stops the players sit in the chairs. The player left standing is taken out of the game. The players all stand again and a chair is removed. The music is started again. This procedure is continued until only one person remains. This person is the winner.


Clapping in different time intervals or syllables

Clapping in 4/4, 2/4, 2/2 time and clapping syllables

You and your child can sing a song or nursery rhyme and clap every syllable of the words.

For Example: Clap on each syllable with the following song

“The cows on the farm go moo, moo, moo
moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, moo
The cows on the farm go moo, moo, moo
All day long”


Other movement songs that can be used includes:

“Old Mac Donald had a farm”

“Mary had a little lamb”

“Hickory Dickory Dock”

“The Muffin man”

According to the dictionary somatic education is a way of working with the awareness of one's body to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Thus, with rhythmic movement you teach and learn using bodily senses for action. Add to this the enthusiastic energy of a toddler and you’ve got a busy bee!




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