Sticks can be one of the most versatile instruments your little one will ever play. While in class they are natural colored wood, 8”, and in matching sets, you may start to notice that your little one can find a substitute everywhere: wooden spoons, pencils, chopsticks, tree limbs, anything can be a musical instrument!
Tapping sticks uses many skills all at the same time. Children will work on their fine motor skills while building grip strength as they hold on. They will discover the different textures felt in the smooth and bumpy stick pairs. They will figure out how to bring their hands together to produce a sound when the sticks meet. Maybe they will figure out how to manipulate the stick in different ways such as rubbing, tapping on the ground, or bringing sticks together high in the air.
At the same time, they are learning the different types of sounds that can be produced.
Sticks produce a clean, crisp single sound that disappears soon after it is created. Tapping the sticks together is similar to a clapping hands motion with a very different created sound. Similarly, using these more like drumsticks tapping on the ground will produce a sound that changes based on the floor surface (it’s very different to tap on wood versus carpet!) Learning to control their movements allows children to create various volume levels too.
And of course, sticks are delicious!
For many younger babies, just exploring this object teaches them so many things we take for granted. Learning how to grip and move this object is interesting because they aren’t typically handed items this shape. Figuring out how to get the stick to their mouth then results in figuring out, “Can I fit the whole thing in my mouth?” They will realize one stick feels different because it is smooth versus the bumpy textured. And wood just feels great against those gums popping out teeth! (Again, no worries, I happily clean after every class.)
Keep tapping with your little one and exploring sounds in your world outside of your Zumbini class.
Use tree limbs to tap on different playground structures at the park, what sounds do you hear? Use wooden and metal spoons in your kitchen, what different sounds do you hear? Most anything can be used to keep a beat with your little one.
Enjoy tapping with them, I can’t wait to see you in Zumbini again soon!