Day 16: Main Activity – Music in the Morning Circle with the Child with Special Needs

Day 16- Main Activity – Music in the Morning Circle with the Child with Special NeedsThis is a post out of the “31 Days of Morning Circles for the Child with Special Needs”.  You can find the main page for this series here.

Even though we do quite a bit of singing throughout the morning circle, once a week, I add a more formal musical element to the circle.

Note: If you’re reading this series for the first time, I suggest you look at the daily structure post to understand the routine we follow in our morning circle.

The simplest way to include music is with percussion instruments. We have a modest collection of instruments, but they are used in a variety of ways, so my son never gets bored with them.


musical toys - musical experiences for the child with special needs

A variety of percussion instruments.

drums and rhythm sticks are must-haves for homeschooling

A drum set with nature-made drumsticks!

Rhythm sticks get used the most because they offer such a pure sound. My son doesn’t always tolerate instruments with high pitches, so rhythm sticks provide the gentle, natural sound we both can work with.

rhythm sticks for child with special needs

Rhythm sticks. A set for child, a set for adult.

Music activity for morning circle:

Ensure your child can hold rhythm sticks while you hold your own set. If he can’t, hold his set along with him (hand-over-hand)


  • tap a rhythm, ask your child to repeat
  • tap loud and soft, ask your child to repeat
  • tap your child’s favorite objects (like a car, a doll, a book), ask your child to imitate

A resource for you:

For additional ideas for music in the circle or anytime, you need to visit Ryan Judd’s website. Ryan is a music therapist who shares many original videos and songs for using music with a child with special needs. He has such a wonderful connection with his students. Ryan not only gets them to interact through music, but he also helps them build life skills, such as social skills. Visit The Rhythm Tree video blog part of his site. Pack a lunch, you will be there for a while! (Note: I am not an affiliate. I am sharing this because I absolutely love Ryan’s work. The quality is exceptional).

What music activities can you include in your main activity part of your morning circle?

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