Follow the beat leader

For ages 6 months – 4 years

This is a fun listening game that you and your child can play together at any time. While playing this game, children are learning about rhythm, how to take turns and counting.

 What do I need?

  • Just you and your child.

How do I do it?

  1. With your child looking at you, say “My turn” and clap your hands twice.
  2. Say “Your turn” and encourage your child to clap their hands too.

It’s okay if your child claps their hands more than twice – they’ll soon get the idea of the game.

  • Next say “Look, listen, my turn” and then clap your hands twice. You can count your claps out loud as you do it.
  • Again, encourage your child and say “Your turn”.  (You can also count your child’s claps.)
  • Keep going but start changing the number of claps, and the rhythm. For example: clap, clap, pause, clap.
  • As your child becomes more confident with the game, you can make it a little bit harder by clapping faster, making the rhythm harder, or adding more claps.
  • Ask your child if they would like to be the leader this time. See what they do, and then copy it.

No-one knows your child better than you.  So, choose and/or adapt ideas here to best suit you and your child. Remember it’s the talking and time spent together that matters most.

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