I Will Follow God’s Plan for Me: Rhythm Sticks for Younger Children


I’m holding the rhythm sticks in my hands.  I ask the children, “Can your hands follow my hands?”  I start to sing.  “My life is a gift…”  As I sing I am doing the following pattern (or one of your own to the beat of the song.)

My life is a gift (patsch, patsch, patsch, patsch)  (A patsch is a tap on your lap)

My life has a plan (click, click, click, click) (The rhythm sticks tap together four times.  The children will be following the approximate movement of your hands, even though they don’t have any sticks in their hands.)

My life has a purpose (patsch 4 x)

In heaven it began (click 4 x)

My choice was to come (tap the left shoulder with the right hand rhythm stick 4 x)   Note:  make a big deal about switching to the other shoulder when it is time.

to this lovely home on earth (tap the right shoulder with the left hand rhythm stick 4 x)

To seek for God’s light (left shoulder tap 4 x)

to direct me from birth (right shoulder tap 4 x)


I will follow God’s   (patsch 4 x)

plan for me (click x 4)

Holding fast to his (patsch 4 x)

word and his love  (click 4 x)

I will work and  (left shoulder tap 4 x)

I will pray  (right shoulder tap 4 x)

I will always  (left shoulder tap 4 x)

walk in his way and  (click the rhythm sticks over your head 4 x) (This goes with the height of the music.)



I will be happy (patsch 4 x)

on earth and (click 4x)

in my home a- (patsch 4 x)

bove  (click the rhythm sticks over your head 4 x and end with one large click on beat 5)


Compliment the children who have followed you well.  Say, “I think you are ready for the rhythm sticks!  We will pass them out.  Do not let your sticks touch anybody else!”  Have the other adults help pass out two rhythm sticks to each child.  When even 1/2 of the children have sticks, call out “Sticks up!  Freeze!”  Then say, “Ready? Patsch, patsch, patsch, patsch.”  The children move their sticks to follow you.  Sing the song doing the above patterns.


I often have the children “clap” for themselves (clicking the sticks together) at the end of the song.  “Please pass your sticks to your teachers.”  Then I begin to count “15, 14, 13, …”  That counting gives the children a length of time in which they are transitioning to the next activity.


The children feel the beat of the song with their bodies.  The flow and beat of the song carries important words that we will continue to experience and learn as we do different activities with this song.  And it is fun!


13 Responses

  1. MelAnie

    What does the (patsch 4X) mean???? Do you know of a good place to get the rhythm sticks at a good price?
    Thanks you so much for all you help and your love of children and music. I am inspired by you

  2. Dan Davis

    Another Idea for rhythm sticks is to buy a few pieces of PVC sprinkler pipe 1/2 inch pipe is smaller so works well for younger children. I get the cheapest ones I can find and then cut them to about 10 – 12 inch lengths. I just throw them in my bag and have the kids take two each. Works great!

  3. Merrie Lou Dyck

    I was looking into making these cheaply today and found packages of “craft dowel” at the dollar store. No cutting necessary since they came in 12 inch lengths and it was actually cheaper than the hardware store. 🙂 I COULD leave them just as is, but I think I am going to paint them our primary colours- red yellow and blue. Then I can use them for other games and concentration activities too like only red sticks tap on certain words, one colour per beat in 3/4 songs, etc. I am excited to see how it goes! I remember using them at school as a kid and liking it.

    • MelAnie Jesse

      Hi I’m interested in looking for these. Was it a dollar tree store? How many dowel were in a package. Thank you!

  4. Nicole Standage

    How long do you typically work on this at one time? All 25 min of singing time?

    Also, what would you recommend for me if we have a combined junior and senior primary? I noticed you have categorized your lessons by junior/senior. Thank you so much for your wonderful ideas!

  5. Sharla Dance

    Dear Nicole, Some brain research has shown that even for adults we need to change things up about every 10 minutes. For children it is less time! I usually bring 3 songs, each with their own activity. I try to make the activities contrasting for that same day. So with these rhythm sticks, I would do something else that is visually challenging (maybe picture concentration game where they have to match the pictures), and something that is word challenging (a word puzzle for older, action word actions for younger).

    When children of these age groups are mixed together, there is a struggle because their learning needs are so different. I’m working on a blog with 5 different ideas for mixed age Primaries. I think it will be done in about 2 weeks. The ideal for the children would be to split into two groups of younger and older, but often that isn’t possible so we just have to come up with other solutions. Thanks for asking.

  6. Becca

    If rhythm sticks are too expensive to purchase for every child in the primary, a large box of unsharpened pencils can also do the trick!

  7. Carla

    Pls notify me when your blog is up and running! also any teaching ideas that you have for the 2016 songs would be great! Thanks!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Carla, Help me understand your comment… can you access the ideas already posted on the blog, or are you having trouble seeing the posts? I’m trying to post 8 different ideas for each song for 2016 at the beginning of each month. January and February have already been posted, and March is coming. Take care, Sharla

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