8. Switch it up
Together, you could assign a different animal rhythm to a different instrument so they quickly switch between them. It encourages them to look ahead and see rhythm in blocks and patterns.
9. Take turns
Alternate bars or assign one animal rhythm pattern each- this is fun for them and encourages good listening and following the music. They will enjoy doing it with you as a team.
10. Make it different
Play at different speeds, volumes or octaves- you could also make up a story about what the animal rhythm is doing (e.g Charlie Chipmunk is hiding at the top of a tree- play quiet and high, Hippo is relaxing in the mud- loud and low)
11. Sing up!
Encourage them to sing while they play. This could be the animal rhythm words, finger numbers, key names, or even solfa (do-re-mi etc).
Later, see if they can stamp or walk the beat whilst tapping the rhythm. A real challenge!
13. Feel the beat
Play with a metronome ticking, or a backing track for the rhythm exercises.
Do you have any ways that you make sightreading fun for your children or pupils? I’d love to hear more ideas to add to my toolbox!