Easy Ways to Use Rhythm Sticks in the Classroom

Children love percussion instruments, so the first ones we use are rhythm sticks. They are easy to hold and simple to use. And there are so many benefits! So now you are looking for easy ways to use rhythm sticks in the classroom.

I’ve got you covered!

Over the years of using rhythm sticks in our toddler and preschool classrooms, I’ve found that simple is best. The children are working hard to listen to the beat and/or words and also following my lead. I wanted activities that involved changing tempo and direction, but not too quickly.

Rhythm sticks are also a great way to help active children slow down and focus. (This is probably my #1 reason for loving them!)


If you have an extra wiggly group of children, hop on over to this post to see our favorite songs that burn energy!

rhythm stick activities

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Rhythm sticks are a good instrument to start with because they are so versatile. Part of the percussion family, these sticks are tapped together to make sounds.

Using rhythm sticks helps develop:

  • Fine motor development and hand-eye coordination
  • Language development and listening skills
  • Rhythm, beat, and tempo
  • Creative thinking and problem solving
  • Early brain development
  • Directionality (up, down, forwards, backwards, etc.)


rhythm stick activities

Getting Started


Start with the basics: Show your children how to use rhythm sticks with these basic motions that start with one hand and then two. (Source: Learn, Play, Imagine)

I have our toddlers sitting on our oval rug and our preschoolers sitting on their stools, as they do during circle time.

As I pass out each set of rhythm sticks, I have the children place them on the floor in front of them. I first demonstrate how to use the sticks, making sure they understand not to hit another child with them. (This is an excellent lesson in spatial awareness.) When I pick up my sticks, they pick up theirs and we place them in our laps. We don’t start using them until the music starts, and we follow along to the beat and words (if applicable).

rhythm stick activities

Easy Ways to Use Rhythm Sticks in the Classroom



rhythm stick activities

Rhythm Stick Articles

rhythm stick activities

Rhythm Stick Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

More ideas for young children:

parachute play for toddlers      16 Large Motor Activities for Kids that Are Perfect for Indoors - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     Toys that Help Develop Large Motor Skills - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds



Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds