Make Rhythm Eggs
Supplies needed to make a rhythm egg:
1) 1 plastic egg
2) Assorted colors of electrical tape
3) Something to place inside the egg that will rattle when shaken: unpopped popcorn, fish-tank rocks, rice, lentils
4) Scissors & tablespoon
Place 1 tablespoon of “rattle” material in one half of egg. Close egg. Wrap a piece of electrical tape around the egg at the seam.
Make PVC Rhythm Sticks
Supplies needed to make a pair of rhythm sticks:
1) 2 12″-18″ pieces of 1/2″ thin-walled PVC pipe
2) 4 1/2″ PVC end caps
3) Something to place inside the sticks that will rattle when shaken: unpopped popcorn, fish-tank rocks, rice, lentils
4) Assorted colors of electrical tape
5) PVC cement / glue
6) Fine sandpaper, damp cloth, paper towels
7) Scissors, hacksaw
PVC pipe comes in 10′ pieces. Using a hacksaw, cut 2 – 12″ pieces of PVC pipe. Sand off rough ends and words that are printed on side of pipe. Wipe pipe clean with damp cloth. Put PVC cement or glue on pipe and glue one end cap on each stick. Remove excess glue with paper towel. Place 1-2 tablespoons of “rattle” material in each stick. Glue remaining end caps on each stick. Remove excess glue with paper towel. Decorate sticks with electrical tape.
Make Guiros or Rain Sticks
Follow the instructions for making PVC Rhythm Sticks, but replace the PVC pipe with flexible conduit. Flexible conduit has ridges on the inside & outside of the pipe which turns these sticks into guiros and rain sticks. A guiro can be used as a percussion instrument by running the handle of a spoon over the grooves on the flexible conduit. Hold guiro in one hand and scoop-end of spoon with the other hand. Run handle of spoon over grooves for a washboard-like sound. To use as a rain stick, tip one end of the guiro up. Then tip the opposite end up to get the “rattle” material to trickle from one end of the pipe to the other.
Make Streamer Sticks
You can put crepe paper streamers on one or both ends of a paint stir stick to add color and motion to any song.
Supplies needed to make a streamer stick:
1) 1 paint stir stick
2) Crepe paper (rolls of assorted colors)
3) Masking tape
Select one or more colors of crepe paper and cut six pieces in 2′-3′ lengths. Tape one piece of crepe paper at a time to the end of paint stir stick. Continue until three pieces of crepe paper have been taped to each end of paint stir stick. If you put streamers on one end, the stick may be waved like a wand. If you put streamers on both ends, grasp the center of the stick and wave it like a baton.
Rhythmic Passing Using Plastic Drink Cups
Invite a small group of kids (8-12) to sit in a circle on the floor or stand around a table facing the center of the circle. Place two drink cups (rim side down) on the floor/table in front of each child within easy reach. Each child will have one cup for each hand. Tell the children to grasp their cups and then pass both cups to the child on their right – leaving them within easy reach of their neighbor. Each child will then grab the new cups that have been passed to them and once again pass them on to the child on their right continuing until the song ends. Start slowly. Practice passing to the right a few times before they sing the song (1-2-3-pass, 1-2-3-pass). It’s important for the children to know the song well before trying rhythmic passing. Including adults in each small group can be very helpful.
NOTE: Children may pass on specific beats (beat 1 only, then try beats 1 & 3 to really speed things up), only on certain words (the word “do” in “Do, Lord), only on words that start with “C”, or whatever. Cathy’s Music offers a couple of songs that are great for rhythmic passing: Do What’s Right and Pass the Love.