I have always found that clapping in time or stamping feet to a rhyme helps children learn and remember what is happening. This is clearly why ‘Actions Songs’ are still so very popular with young children, their teachers and their parents.
My favourite, however is not an action rhyme so much as a ‘knocking rhyme’. The children sit in a group on the floor and rap gently on the floor with their knuckles as if knocking on a door in response to the following:
Who comes knocking on the door?
I will let you in if you knock 4.
— the children rap together four times on the floor
I want to hear more knocks, don’t you?
I will let you in if you knock 2.
— the children rap together twice on the floor
I hear knocks on a door near me.
I will let you in if you knock 3.
— the children rap together three times on the floor
What fun we have with knocking rhymes!
Let me hear you knock 5 times.
— the children rap together five times on the floor
Knocking time is nearly done.
I will let you in if you knock 1.
— the children rap one final time on the floor
Because it is a rhyme and contains much repetition the children will quickly grasp the idea and I have found that the rhyme is so clear that if you stress the final word of each first line the children will complete the remaining line for themselves.