Copper Rods


Why Copper?

Copper is a warming metal, not only by nature, but also in its reddish brown color.  When you pick up a copper rod, the metal immediately adjusts to the temperature of your hand, thus making it easy on your hands when you work with it.  Copper is also a good conductor of energy and oxygen.  It will constantly be giving back and transferring what it is absorbing through your hands.

Why Copper rods in Eurythmy?

Rudolf Steiner said that when we use the copper rods, we develop the intuition and intelligence of the hand.

“The rods… constitute a vital part of teaching children eurythmy. Rod work helps the children find their way into their bodies in a healthy way, assisting with their posture, coordination, spatial awareness, and dexterity.” –Reg Down

How to Make Copper Rods

Here is a simple, short video on how to make copper rods at home. It explains how to measure for them and what materials to use.

Rod Exercises

Here are a few rod exercises to get you started at home or coop.  Most of these exercises are good for children Grade 1 and older.  There are a few that should only be done for children after the 9yo change.  I have marked them for you.

  • Qui-qui (Little birds).
    Hold the rod with just your fingers in both hands out in front of your chest, palms down. Now lift one finger off the rod at a time starting with your pointer finger, working your way to your pinky. Then work your way back, starting with your pinky back to your pointer. You can do this to the beat of music or while singing. Also, you can get creative and lift fingers while saying times tables or the alphabet! The next step is to do the same exercise with palms facing upward for a stronger work out!
  • Little Squirrels and Bunnies
    Holding the rod vertically, jump your hands one over the other. Your will be placing hand on top of hand as you “jump” them. Then while your hands rest, your feet as “bunnies on the ground” and toe to heel, walk your feet forwards. Then do the hands and feet together. To add extra challenge, you could walk your feet twice as fast as your hands.
    -Then, you hold the rod horizontally and cross your hands over the other, above and below the rod. Next, your hands rest while your feet act as “bunnies on the ground.” You cross each foot over the other. And finally, while holding the rod horizontally, your hands and feet move together.
    – For an extra challenge here, you can move opposite hand and foot.
  • Squirmy Wormy
    Hold the rod vertical in your hand. Then climb the rod with your fingers only until you reach the top. Then climb your way back down. Repeat for the other hand. You can do this to song or verse or make up a fun story to go with it! Make sure your palms do not touch the rod… only fingers!
  • Making Soup (Intro to Rod Twirling)
    Hold the rod vertical in your hand. Focus on the bottom of the rod. Make a circle motion as if you are stirring. Ask your child what kind of soup they are making and what ingredients will go into it. Then you switch hands and repeat with the other side.
    Now it is getting hot in the kitchen and we must turn on the fans. Now, focus on the top end of the rod and make big circular motions. Make them as big as you can to cool down the kitchen! Don’t forget to switch hands because it’s also getting hot on the other side of the kitchen!
    Now we are done and put the spoons back on the shelf (balance the rod on their heads).
    -This prepares young children for learning how to twirl the rods when they are older. It is also a good exercise for teaching older children how to twirl If they have not had experience with the rods before.
  • Rod Rolling
    Arm Rolling: Start by extending the arms in front of you, palms up, and place the rod on your shoulders. Carefully let the rod roll down your arms to your fingertips, and then roll it back up to your shoulders. Let this be smooth and controlled. Do this a few times. This would be good with a story of winter and sledding and how the sled goes down the hill and then we have to climb the hill back up.
    -For a bit of a challenge, roll rods with a partner. Face your partner and touch fingertips. Let the rod roll from your shoulders, on to your partner’s hands and down to their shoulders. Then bring it back. This causes a good amount of will and teamwork as you don’t want the rod to drop between you and your partner and you also don’t want the rod rolling with such force as to hurt you or your partner.
    Leg Rolling: Next you will roll the rod on your legs. Sit on the ground and place the rod at your hips. Lift you bottom off the ground with your hands and let the rod roll down your legs to your flexed toes. Then sit your bottom back on the ground and lift your feet to let the rod roll back to your hips.
    -For a challenge, roll rods on the legs with a partner! This time we will extend our toes and touch to our partner’s extended toes. We start at the hips, lift our bottom and roll down our legs, off the ends of our toes and on to our partner’s toes. You partner then lifts their legs and rolls the rod to their hips. Then your partner will lift their bottom into the air, roll the rod down their legs, off their extended toes and on to yours. Then lift your legs and roll the rod back to your hips. Again, this is an exercise in will and teamwork!
  • Jack Be Nimble
    -There are two ways to do this exercise. The first way is easy to do with a group, but can be done by one or two children. It is done by placing rods on the floor, horizontally in front of both feet, and make a circle with multiple rods. Stand in front of a rod and do the following verse, advancing one rod forward each time:
    Jack be nimble,           (right foot over one rod and back)
    Jack be quick,             (left foot over one rod and back)
    Jack jump over           (right foot over one rod and back)
    the candlestick           (jump over the rod with both feet)
    -The second way to do this exercise is good when you have limited rods. This way is geared more towards one or two children at a time but can be done with a large group as well. It is done with two rods per child but can be done one rod.
    Jack be nimble,           (right foot over one rod and back)
    Jack be quick,              (left foot over one rod and back)
    Jack jump over           (Jump over the first rod with both feet and back)
    the candlestick            (jump over the second rod with both feet and back)
    -To add an extra challenge to these exercises (for children after 9yo change), try doing them backwards!
  • Over-Under (after 9yo change)
    Hold the rod out in front of you in both hands, palms facing down. Now toss the rod into the air and catch on the back of your hands. Allow your hands to drop a bit as you are catching so it will be less force on the back of your hands and will not hurt. Now toss the rod in the air and catch in your hands with your palms facing downward.
  • Cross-Over (after 9yo change)
    -Hold rod in your hands out in front of you, palms facing downward. Gently toss the rod into the air and cross your right hand over your left and catch the rod. Toss the rod into the air again and return your hands to original position. Repeat except cross the left over right. Variations of this can be done by crossing the right over the left, then left over right while skipping the initial position.
    -Next, we add the feet. Jump and cross your right foot over your left. Then jump and return to initial position. Then jump again, this time crossing your left foot over your right. And then jump and return back to initial postion.
    -Finally, we add the hands and the feet together, starting slow with crossing one over the other and returning to initial position. Then skip the initial position.
  • Tipping Towers
    This a fun game for any age. It can be as simple or complex as you would like it! This is a game that is good for a group of people.
    -You start by everyone standing in a circle with their own rod. Everyone places the rod on its end on the ground, one finger touching the rod to balance it. Have a story to tell; any story whether silly, made up, a fairy tale, a folklore… whatever you wish. (I like to say the verses from “Jack and Jill.” Designate a word that is heard often in the story (the names Jack or Jill). When that word is said, everyone leaves their rod and quickly moves to the next rod in the circle. The point is to try and keep the rod balanced for the next person coming behind you, and for you to move quickly to grab the next rod before it falls to the ground.
    -Difficulty can be increased by increasing the size of the circle or by having the children move two spaces over, then three, etc.
    – This next variation is good for after 9ro change. For a greater challenge, have two words designated to move right or left. For example, we would move right on the word “Jack” and left on the word “Jill.”
    – Another variation for after the 9yo change is assigning partners with a word in the story. When the partners hear their word, they cross the circle to get to each other’s rods before falling. This can also be done when you only have two children or a small group that makes it hard to move the above exercises.
  • Rod Balancing
    Keep the rod horizontal and balance it on your head, your hand, or your foot with the heel on the ground. The next step is while balancing the rod on your head, drop it into your hands held out in front of you. You could also drop it into your hands held behind your back.
    – This next variation is good for after the 9yo change. With the rod held vertical, balance the rod on the palm of your hand, the tip of your finger, or the head. Make sure to allow plenty of room for these exercises!
    – Another variation for after the 9yo change is to balance the rod horizontal on your head and include some form walking (in lines or curves)!
These exercises are a collaboration from many places.  My two main references were, “Leaving Room for the Angels” by Reg Down (book)  and “Movement for Childhood” pdf sheet.

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