Seeking Clues: Movement, Sound, Rhythm

Continuing the quest for clues about each child’s creative strengths, I present these activities for three more elements of the Sensory Alphabet.




  • Demonstrate turning around once and posing like a statue.
  • Encourage children to make their own unique poses.
  • Videotape several children doing so at the same time.


A child strong in body movement will show control in turning around and will create an interesting pose.


  • May not follow directions in one way or another, which may indicate a lack of interest in movement.
  • May show a lack of control, be unable to stop moving, or act very silly, indicating they may have a strength in movement but it is difficult to ascertain from their actions.


Cross the Bridge

  • Use chalk or tape to create a line in the middle of the room.
  • Ask children to show an interesting way to get from one side of the line to the other.
  • Videotape or photograph each one.


A child with a movement strength will do something that shows control/skill and imagination. Examples: turn a cartwheel, broad jump, leap, dance, gallop, somersault, tiptoe backward, spin on their head, etc.


  • Some may simply step over the line, which may indicate a lack of interest in movement.
  • Some children may take a long time to think of something, which also may indicate little imagination in movement.




portrait-of-boy-amazedAnimal Sounds

  • Give each child about 5 seconds to make as many animal sounds as they can (with voice/body).
  • Record each one and notate their names just before they make the sounds.


A child with a strength in sound will probably produce many sounds and/or the sounds will seem fairly realistic.


  • Some children may take a long time to think of what to do or may make few (or no) sounds, indicating they may not have an interest in this area.
  • Some children may say words like “Moo!” that sound like words more than sounds, indicating they may have strengths in other elements.

xylophone (1)Water Music

  • Prepare four (real) glasses with different amounts of water. Alternatively provide a xylophone or other instrument with only  4 pitches.
  • Show the children how to strike the glasses with a pencil to make sounds.
  • Give each child a few seconds to try out the glasses and then record each making a short melody. (No more than about 20 seconds.)


This child with a sound strength will create a pleasant or interesting melody.


  • Some may make random sounds or make a minimal tune, showing little interest in sound.
  • Some may create a rhythmic beat, indicating more interest in rhythm.



Photo on 12-11-17 at 2.25 PMClapping Rhythm

  • Clap a steady rhythm and ask the children to join in.
  • Creates a simple clapping rhythm (with 2-6 beats) and ask the children to echo after each one.
  • Ask the children to take turns clapping their own rhythms (or beating them on a drum or with another percussion instrument.) If possible video each child and stop them after 25-30 seconds. If you audiotape them instead be sure to say each child’s name before they begin.


A child with an aural rhythm strength can easily perform all the tasks.


  • Some children may be able to keep or repeat a beat but not generate a steady or interesting beat on their own.
  • Some children may not be able to keep or repeat a beat.


IMG_8277 IMG_8276
H rhythmVisual Rhythms

  • Give each child a long shoelace and their choice of pony bead colors or cut up drinking straws of different colors.
  • Ask them to create an interesting necklace pattern with the beads.

Variation: This can also be done with Avery dots or different stamps on paper.


A child who shows a consistent (or close to consistent) pattern may have a strong visual sense of rhythm. Example: AB AB AB AB. The more complex the pattern, the stronger the sense. Example: ABC ABC ABC or AAA BBB CCC DDD


  • May show no discernible pattern.
  • May show patterns but not consistently.


Leave a Comment: