|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Even the very youngest babies respond to beats in music. Scientists even believe that babies find beat more engaging than speech and that beat is the first element of music that babies respond to. Babies find synchronising their movements to a steady beat very soothing, and for those who lack control over their limbs, to have someone else move to a beat with them can produce the same results. That’s why many babies fall asleep whilst being rocked or gently bounced in their parents arms.
- Your choice of song
Two to six weeks
How it works
This activity introduces babies to the first stages of beat competency by helping them feel a beat in a piece of music through their parent’s body. It builds on parent’s instinctive response when cradling a baby who tend to ‘bounce’ to a beat in a piece of music almost unconsciously. This ‘bounce’ can either be achieved by the parent dancing and moving whilst standing, or it can be achieved in a sitting position and bouncing baby on their knees.
What to do in the class
Choose a song or rhyme that has a strong beat (there are suggestions below). Have parents either standing and holding their babies, or where the rhyme is knee bouncer sitting with their child on their knees. As they sing the rhyme/song, encourage the parents to bounce or sway gently to the beat as they sing, so their babies can feel the beat with their whole bodies as they also listen to it.
Suitable songs/rhymes would include:
- Rock-a-bye baby Rock A Bye Baby
- Father, Mother and Uncle John Father And Mother And Uncle John
- Horsey Horsey Horsey Horsey
- Pat a cake Pat A Cake, Pat A Cake
- 5 little Monkeys Five Little Monkeys
- Ten Galloping Horses Ten Galloping Horses
- The Grandfather Clock Grandfather Clock
- The Ponies are Walking Ponies Are Walking
- What shall we do with the Bouncing Baby? Bouncing Baby
- This is the way the Lady Rides This Is The Way The Lady Rides
- Shoe the Little Horse Shoe The Little Horsey
Adaptations for older/younger children
What to do in a nursery setting
Knee bouncing songs will only really work in a one to two environment- One carer would have two babies on their lap for the songs.
10 Galloping horses
The grandfather clock
What shall we do with the bouncing baby
This is the way the lady rides
Shoe the little Horsey