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ACTIVITIES


  1. Play games with your child. Let them choose a game or a creative activity to play and let them be the leader.

  2. When your child is playing, pretend to be a sports commentator, describing the positive play-by-play.

rhythm activities pencil graphic

Rhythmic activities make it easier to focus, and that helps children follow directions, play in a safe way and learn new things.

Planning a change from one activity to the next helps prepare your child for new tasks. A regular routine for changing activities helps your child feel like the next activity is normal and expected. This makes the change easier and less stressful for your child (and you!).

rhythm activities pencil graphic

Relaxing

Activities that relax children
and slow their heart rate can help
them feel more in control
of their bodies and
their reactions.

rhythm activities pencil graphic

Self Esteem

It is impossible to tell your child too many times that you love them!

connecting activities pencil graphic

Your child feels more
Safe and
Secure
when they are
part of a family
or group.

More Helpful Tips & Activities

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  • Activities that connect parents or caregivers with their children and make them feel close, build a child’s sense of security.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Sing a favorite song with your child. Pretend to be silly animals that make you laugh. Ask your child what makes him giggle.

  2. Take turns telling silly made up jokes to each other.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Read to your child. Talk about the pictures and the story. Tell a story and ask your child to tell a story to you.

  2. Create a story using your child’s name for one of the characters in the story.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Play games with your child. Let her choose a game or a creative activity to play and let her be the leader.

  2. When your child is playing, pretend to be a sports commentator, describing the positive play-by-play.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Talk to your child in a calm voice. Use her name when you talk to her.

  2. When talking to your child, listen to him without interrupting – and wait through his silence if necessary. Repeat back to him what you hear him saying.

  • Rhythmic music can help focus brains and bodies.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Sing a song out loud together and do motions to the song as you sing.

  2. Act out “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “Wheels on The Bus.” “The Chicken Dance” also has a great rhythmic beat.

ACTIVITY


Have your child join you in clapping or tapping the beat of a song on your leg or on a table. Take turns picking the rhythm or song to use.

ACTIVITY


Use shakers, drums or other musical instruments to explore different rhythmic beats with your child. For example, use an empty box as a drum or beans in a small box taped shut for a shaker.


  • Patterned, rhythmic, repetitive movements help brains concentrate. Dance can be a fun and effective way to move the body this way.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Have fun creating a dance together to the music that has a great beat. Let your child select their favorite song.

  2. Dance together waving flags or twirling scarves in the air.

ACTIVITY


Hold your infant while you sing to them and dance to the beat of the song. Do the “Hokey Pokey” or the “Chicken Dance” with older children.


  • Subtle rhythmic activities can help a child stay calm and relaxed. This can be really helpful in an environment where children are expected to stay still or quiet.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Allow your child to squeeze a koosh ball or bean bag.

  2. Allow you baby to use a pacifier or your older child to chew gum.

ACTIVITIES


Hold your infant while you sing to them and dance to the beat of the song. Do the “Hokey pokey” or the “Chicken dance” with older children.


  • Rhythmic activities make it easier to focus, and that helps children follow directions, play in a safe way and learn new things.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Together with your child, tap, clap or move your whole bodies to the rhythm of music.

  2. Play “Patty Cake” with your child. Create clapping or drumming patterns that you and your child take turns imitating.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Teach your child to swing a hula hoop around her arm.

  2. Roll or bounce a ball back and forth with your child.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Take walks with your child. Carry your infant or walk beside an older child letting them set the pace.

  2. March, skip, run or play hopscotch with your child.

ACTIVITY


Act out rhythmic nursery rhymes with your child. “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” is a good one.

ACTIVITY


Encourage movement like crawling, walking, jumping and spinning in a circle. Sing and act out a song with your child like “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Do “Jumping Jack” games with your child.

ACTIVITY


Chewing in a rhythmic activity. When your child is old enough, eating healthy crunchy snacks like carrots, celery or cauliflower is a good activity. Children get nutrition while the chewing activity calms them.

  • Changing activities or taking a break helps a child’s brain pay attention.

ACTIVITY


Look for signs your child is getting antsy or fidgeting ¬– change the activity or the pace of the activity. After a fast paced activity like marching, changing the pace by sitting down to sing or read.


  • Planning a change from one activity to the next helps prepare your child for new tasks.

ACTIVITY


Talk to your child before bed about events in her day. Celebrate the good things that happened and work through the challenges. Take time to plan something fun for the next day to help her have “sweet dreams.”

ACTIVITIES


  1. Tell your child 3 to 5 minutes before it is time to change activities that the change is coming.

  2. Ask your child to help plan parts of the next activity.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Singing the same song whenever you change to another activity helps your child prepare to start that next task.

  2. March with your child to the next activity or location.

  • Activities that relax children and slow their heart rate can help them feel more in control of their bodies and their reactions.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Sit quietly outside with your child, listening to the sounds.

  2. Have your child close his eyes and think of something that is relaxing, then have him tell you about it.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Have your child pet a stuffed animal or soft cloth. Many children’s books include soft textures to explore.

  2. Allow your young child to carry a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket to comfort him when he will be in new or stressful experiences.

ACTIVITIES


Teach your child to take slow deep breaths. When your child is tense, blowing a feather or bubble and watching it float is a calming activity.

ACTIVITIES


Take time to gently massage your child’s hands, feet or back and talk about things that make you feel good. Notice how you child pays attention to your words when he is calm.

  • Supporting your child is important to his development and his ability to handle stress, to learn and to be creative.

ACTIVITY


Tell your child what you like about him, hug him. Notice things he does well and tell him. Give him extra attention when he needs reassurance. Spend time finding out what he likes.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Encourage your child by your positive tone of voice and your attention.

  2. Praise your child’s efforts. Every great accomplishment is achieved by accomplishing smaller steps first. Help her understand that everyone has disappointments or failures. Encourage her to “try again.”


  • Knowing that they are special to someone else is important to helping children feel safe and self-confident.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Ask your child to tell you about his favorite things – his favorite color, song, TV shows, friend – and ask WHY. Be sure not to criticize, correct, argue about or make fun of his answer.

  2. Notice what your child likes or dislikes even without telling you – and remember to treat her to her favorites.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Tell your child that you love him, but also tell him what you like about him. Remind him there is no one else in the world exactly like him and that makes him “special.”

  2. Make it a fun game for your child to identify things about herself that are like you and things that are different. Tell her it is fun to be with her. Tell your children they make you HAPPY!

ACTIVITIES


  1. Notice your child – smile and greet them happily.

  2. It is impossible to tell your child too many times that you love them.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Celebrate more than birthdays and holidays together. Pick random special days to celebrate.

  2. Pay attention when your child draws a picture. Talk to them about it. Put it on the fridge.

  • Your child feels more safe and secure when they are part of a family or group.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Talk with your child about the things he likes to do with other family members.

  2. Take time to help your child think of things that he could do that would make someone else in the family happy. Help him plan fun surprises for other family members.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Let your child know that you like to do all sorts of things with him. He can feel helpful by doing simple chores alongside you.

  2. Breakdown household tasks so everyone has a simple part. Even a small child can help by folding laundry or putting away toys.

ACTIVITIES


  1. As a parent, talk about your own childhood – games you liked, childhood friends.

  2. Create and talk about your family’s everyday or holiday traditions like movie night with popcorn or Sunday morning breakfast. Help your child create a family handshake.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Sit together and watch videos or TV that has positive value and is geared toward your child’s age. Let your child have a turn picking out what to watch, even if that pick is not your favorite.

  2. Limit video and screen time by taking a break to talk about what you are watching or hearing. Listen to music together. Sing, clap or dance along to the songs.

ACTIVITIES


  1. Plan for the whole family to sit down for dinner together as often as possible.

  2. At mealtime, ask everyone to share at least 1 happy thing that happened that day.