Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I have an activity to share with you perfect for kindergarten and 1st grade. We talk a lot in kindergarten music about steady beat. We practice walking, marching, patting, tapping, clapping, to the steady beat while music plays. We spend so much time going over the concept of beat that we barely touch on rhythm in kindergarten. That’s because it is so important for kindergarten to know how to keep the steady beat. We often use the heart beat as an example of a steady pulse, and while not everyone’s heart beat is totally steady and even, kids still understand that heart beats should be constant.
When we practice tracking the beat visually, we usually use cut-out heart shapes. When we introduce the idea of long and short sounds, we listen for how many sounds we hear during each heart beat. Then, we can add the rhythm to the heart. Sometimes, students receive a baggie of popsicle sticks for their rhythms. They listen as we track the steady beats, then place either one or two popsicle sticks inside each heart. It’s a great way to see who is understanding the concept.
You can make your own heart beat chart. You can use a long strip of white paper (butcher paper is good, if you have some). Then, you’ll need to cut out big hearts. You can use any color you’d like. You’ll want to glue or tape them onto the white paper in a row. In class, I would have a white heart to show a beat of no sound (or rest).
Ways to use your heart beat chart:
- use candy hearts instead of popsicle sticks for Valentines Day!
- clap different Valentine’s themed words like heart, candy, letter, stamp.
- practice pointing to heart beats while listening to music.
You can use them along with your favorite piece of music. You can check out some of the songs from the February listening lessons post I did earlier this week. Try tapping the hearts along with the music. Love Somebody is a great Valentines Day song that would fit with the beat chart.
You can also try doing different movements to the steady beat during the music. Try marching to the beat, dancing, jumping, tapping your toes, maybe even Valentine’s inspired movements like writing a letter or eating chocolate. You can be as creative as you’d like!
Hope you have a great weekend!