Three fun, easy, and educational rhythm activities to do with your kids during quarantine
By Alisha Ramcharitar, Owner/Founder, Just Add Rhythm LLC
Developing any kind of schedule during this quarantine can be tough. Parents have to multi-task like never before – handle the household, home school, work remotely, and somehow safely get groceries.
How can you keep the kids entertained during those long stretches at home?
Here, we give you three simple ideas for your kids to access the fun and benefits of rhythm from home – no instruments required.
Recently, I hosted a Quarantine Songs Jam Session for families on Facebook Live. Beforehand, I invited all participants to find items around their house they could use as instruments – Tupperware containers, pencils/pens, pots/pans, salt and pepper shakers…you get the idea. Invite your kids to get creative, and don’t be afraid to join them! Schedule a family fun evening where everyone BYO’s their most creative idea to the jam session. Play along to our Facebook Live session:
Or you can find your own quarantine playlist.
Next, let’s try a game. This is a crowd pleaser during our in-person sessions for all ages, and it’s super simple. One person plays a short excerpt of a song on their “drum,” and everyone else has to guess what it is. The obvious challenge is that because you’re only hearing the rhythm and not the melody, it’s harder to guess the song correctly.
Of course, we encourage everyone to pick songs that most people will be familiar with (like nursery rhyme songs, Christmas or holiday songs, patriotic songs, etc.). The example I usually give when I demonstrate is the Happy Birthday song (aren’t we all sick of singing that while we wash our hands).
Check out this Spotify playlist of songs almost everyone knows the words to (just be sure to check which few songs are explicit if you choose to play the recording) for some pop-inspired ideas.
Part of the fun is trying to figure out how to actually play the song on your instrument. Once someone guesses it, you can all try to play it together – and have a laugh if you mess up!
Finally, being stuck at home and dealing with this quarantine can be stressful. Your kids might feel anxiety or worry about the health and safety of themselves, their family, their friends. They might be wondering when it will end, and when they can go back to school, back to their usual activities. Or, they (and you!) might just need a mental break.
We can help them manage some of that stress or anxiety with a rhythmic breathing exercise called the Stopwatch Technique. Percussionist Jim Donovan (formerly of the band Rusted Root) leads transformational rhythm programs to empower people to use sound to improve their health. He developed this simple technique that aligns slow, deep breathing with light rhythmic tapping on your lap. Follow along with Jim’s video here:
We’re all in this together
Did you find these activities fun and helpful? Drop a line on Facebook to let us know how the kids enjoyed them, and be sure to follow us.
You can also find us here:
We’re all in this together. Please reach out to us if we can offer you any additional resources, exercises, or techniques to try! Rhythm is fun, and it’s also been proven to help improve our mental, physical, and emotional health. Let’s get drumming!
Contact us (https://justaddrhythmnow.com/contact-us/)
Alisha Ramcharitar, M.A. is a global bridge between West African culture and corporate and community wellness. The Founder of Just Add Rhythm, she leads interactive, innovative programs in the Jacksonville area and throughout Florida. Alisha is a REMO endorsed and HealthRHYTHMS® trained facilitator. She and her husband are the proud parents of an energetic baby boy and an even more rambunctious Goldendoodle. She’d like to think she’s as good a ukulele player as Zooey Deschanel.