Monday, March 9, 2009

Musical Monday: Rhythm Ribbons

Rhythm ribbons: doesn't that just sound fun? They are! My daughter loves to jump/run/dance around the room with her ribbon in hand to just about any kind of music. The concept is quite simple: move the ribbon to the music. This is great because it doesn't take any kind of musical genius or even rhythm to have success with rhythm ribbons. It's a chance to connect body movement with the music.

Watch for the crawler at the end who makes a dash for an abandoned ribbon. So cute! Music in the video is At the Bottom of the Sea on For the Kids Too!

I know you're just jumping at the chance to put rhythm ribbons to work in your playtime so here are some resources to get you going. First, you need the ribbons. This project was so incredibly easy to make. In fact, I was able to make them while my toddler crawled all over me trying to get a better look and help any way she could. Second, you need to choose some magical music to get the party started!

Making Rhythm Ribbons
Materials: craft sticks, ribbon, Tacky glue

Directions: Cut ribbon into 3 1/2 foot (42 inches) lengths; Apply glue to one craft stick; Smear glue from first stick onto another craft stick; Place one end of the ribbon on the stick about 1 - 1 1/2 inches. Place the other craft stick (glue side down) on top of the craft stick with the ribbon; Press sticks firmly together; Place on wax paper, cover with wax paper and place a heavy book on top while glue dries.

Once the glue dries, your rhythm ribbons are ready to use! Sammi danced around the table asking if they were dry yet for about 10 minutes. (I was very impressed with her attention span for waiting for the ribbons!) Finally I gave in and checked and they were dry! We turned on some music and started spinning, zigzagging and waving our ribbons around the room.

Choosing Music for Rhythm Ribbons
Since using rhythm ribbons is about moving the ribbons, it's a great way to introduce children to classical music. What would otherwise be boring to just sit and listen to now provides a dynamic, engaging background for exploring rhythm ribbon movements. Once caution on classical music: The songs can get pretty long. If the song is too long children may lose interest in the rhythm ribbons and you may run out of ideas for different ways for them to move the ribbons around. Look for songs that are two to three minutes long to start with and then increase the length of song from there. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Baby Einstein: Traveling Melodies Available on The Baby Einstein Music Box Orchestra & Strauss - Baby Einstein: Traveling Melodies
The Bumble-Bee (from 'The Legend of Tsar Saltan') Available on iTunes Itzhak Perlman - Itzhak Perlman's Greatest Hits - Flight of the Bumble-Bee
William Tell Overture (Finale) Available on iTunes André Rieu - Tuscany - William Tell Overture


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