Play & Learn: Mini Maestros – Rhythm Sticks

Songs, rhymes, and music are all fun to share with your child, but did you know that music can also get your child ready to read? Explore music at home with rhythm sticks! 

Singing (and music) is one of the Every Child Ready to Read program’s five early literacy practices that build valuable pre-reading skills. We know that singing slows down language so children can hear the different parts of words. This helps them notice how those sounds are alike and different. 

If you don’t have rhythm or drum sticks, you can improvise. Try using: 

  • Sturdy plastic or wooden spoons 
  • Markers  
  • Empty paper towel tubes 

Just be sure to watch for choking hazards. You can always tape lids to markers if you need to.  

Rhythm is an important part of both music and language. Keeping the beat to a song helps your child build motor control, listening and language skills simultaneously. Even when the music is off, kids benefit from hearing the rhythm in words. Try clapping for each syllable of a word to help your child hear the smaller sounds (wa-ter-mel-on!). Breaking words down into smaller sounds is an important skill to have when they later sound out words and learn to read independently.  

Children learn through their senses, so the sound and feel of sticks, plus exploring movement, boosts brain connections. Playing stop-and-start games teaches your child listening skills and self-control. Music is also a great stress reliever for all ages and a great way to smooth transitions throughout your child’s day (like diaper changes or clean up time). 

Check out our Mini Maestros – Shakers episode for more musical fun! 


Reading books with strong rhythms or musical elements is a great way to keep the beat going! 

Books with Beat: 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.