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Steady Beat And Name Games


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Hi there everyone :D

I was just reading Dianne's posting in planning the day and my eyes lit up when you talked about 'steady beat activities' and listening games. I'd love to share your ideas as I am reviewing what I need to do early on in the phonics program. We use PIPs and Jolly Phonics and I have been reading 'Foundations in Literacy' which is very informative.

I'd love help on these type of activities, know that they are essential before anything else but am i bit stumped as to where to start, :o

thanks Liza

P.S ideas for names games to start us off would be gratefully received... am I asking too much?

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I've just come across Ros Bayley's new publication, "Helping Young Children with Steady Beat", written with Lynn Broadbent, and published by Lawrence Educational Publications (ISBN 1-903670-26-8).

The main idea is to chant little rhymes and poems, tapping a steady beat on your knees, or clapping the beat, before you start chanting. There is a little toy called "Beat Baby" (which I haven't seen, and I think you could use anything that you already have), which can be used to engage the children further. Some of the rhymes I can see myself using in the nursery, others not.

One rhyme I use regularly is:


Big Clocks tick quite slowly

Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock (say these two lines slowly, patting knees to the beat)


Small clocks tick more quickly



Wat-ches tick much faster

Ticka tocka ticka tocka ticka tocka tick!


With this rhyme, the beat remains steady (4 beats to a line); it's the ticking that gets faster!

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Guest diannej

Beat me to it there Helen.

My friend has the book you mention and the 'beat baby' which comes in a variety of different colours. It's a furry little thing which curls up into a ball and is fastened by velcro. There was an article by Ros bayley about this in EYE in February, well worth a look if you can get your hands on a copy.

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Glad I'm not the only one Susan. :( It looked easy until I actually tried it. :o :wacko: xD


No sorry, its just not working for me. Can you post and easier one Helen? :(


(By the way Helen, look out behind you - Sue's about to overtake you too. :(:D )

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We have the big book 'Clapping Games' by Jenny Mosely and Helen Sonnet.

It has both familiar and new songs with suggestions of clapping rhythms - clap high/low faster slower etc. also comes with a cd of chn. singing and clapping.

Our Nursery chn. loved it last year and we will use the more difficult ones with Rec this year.

Its available from Featherstone Education £15.99


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Guest Sycamore


I use a book called Music Express by A&C Black. It is a little expensive £29.99 but includes CD's x2 and a CD Rom as well as the book. It is full of great ideas for circle time rhymes as well as progressing to more songs etc. It is certainly worth getting in on approval for a look. It shows you how to do the lesson on video clips if you like too! Therefore ideal for the novice.

I hope this is of some help. You can buy it from Amazon but I got mine straight from A&C Black. You can also get it from KKS educational supplies I think.

The beat baby I think someone suggested was great too but my class lost interest after a while. It was great the first time when we wondered what it was or did and had a whole discussion on the object.

Anyway, good luck.



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Hmm, funny how I just assume that I'm going to do things, with no thought about how I'll actually manage them! :o On Thursday I got a group of 6 children and we bounced the ball to each other, and I kept saying the children's names over & over as we bounced, trying to create some kind of simple rhythm, which we did on the whole. By the time we had played for 5 minutes they were able to name at least 1 other child they had bounced the ball to, but I must admit it seemed slow progress. (Thursday was the 1st day in) I guess it's a lot to expect that they will learn a load of names as well as dealing with everything else! xD


I'll try the ticking clock rhyme on Monday, and I think that I will be needing to buy a new book to help me too, unless I can lay my hand on any other available resource at school! Actually I'm very excited about using the chopsticks and paper plates and was intending starting work on that quite soon, starting by chanting their names and beginning to notice how some names are longer than others.


Dianne xxxx

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I have used Beat Baby with my reception and year one children and it worked very well. We used the time to do circle time and music activities. I have also used Music Express and found that the children really enjoyed it and linked well to other areas of learning.

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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks everyone for the help

we've just bought music express so am about to spend my next few weekends dippping into it and putting it into some kind of planning order xD

i got the beat baby book and erm... baby. I think it's one of those that you would be glad of someone showing you!!!

I got a great idea in Ros Bayley and Sue Plamers book 'Foundations for Literacy' Each child has a drum (paper plate) and a beater (a chopstick) and they can follow and tap out simple patterns, syllables in their name etc. I've put this into my planning for next week so here's hoping! :o


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