Rhythm Activity Games


           Little Hands On Rhythm® - Activity Games 

Note:  Place the Basic Beat on the Rhythm Board as a reference to show the beat value of notes and rests in the rhythm in terms of the number of quarter notes they are equal to.  Ex - the half note has two-quarter notes above in the basic beat.  The sound carries through the next beat.  The dotted half note has three-quarter notes above in the basic beat.  The sound carries across the following two beats. This is a visual means to distinguish between note value and the beat number. The Basic Beat also prompts the correct spacing between the note and rest values in the rhythm.  Remember to always use your beat counters!

 Which Bar Did You Hear?   This is a fun listening game for students. To play the game, prepare the rhythm board by placing a Time Signature and the corresponding Basic Beats on the board.  Arrange four bars of rhythm on the rhythm board. Clap one of the four bars.  The student claps back the rhythm and identifies it on the rhythm board.  The rhythm can be easily changed by rearranging the manipulatives.  Students can participate in rearranging the rhythms.  

Make it Appear – Taking a rhythm out of the air and placing it on the rhythm board is magical for students and a good introduction to rhythm dictation. To play the game, prepare the rhythm board by placing a Time Signature and the corresponding Basic Beat on the board.  Clap and count one bar of rhythm. The student Claps and Counts the rhythm back, then notates the rhythm on the rhythm board using the magnetic pieces. This is an excellent assessment exercise also. Teachers can challenge the students' rhythm memory by gradually increasing the number of bars of rhythm to be notated at one time and increasing the level of difficulty.  

*Suggestion – To set an even tempo, the teacher can tap out the Basic Beat while the student repeats the rhythm.  The tempo should be slow enough to allow the student to interpret how the rhythm aligns with the basic beat.  

Help! – This game presents rhythm discrepancies for students to solve. Discrepancies such as an insufficient number of beats per bar or too many beats per the bar, an incorrect time signature, the misplacement of bar lines and counting numbers, the incorrect placement of the whole rest, the use of the half rest instead of the whole rest in 2/4 time, can be placed on the board for students to find and correct. This exercise will require students to study the rhythm board carefully to find all the rhythm notation mistakes. 

Build A Bar –   In this game, a card number is interpreted as a note or rest value or a combination of notes and rests to make up bars of rhythm.   Using the Random Rhythm Card Set, prepare the cards by selecting all the numbered cards and four wild cards (Instruments Cards) from the deck.  Shuffle the cards. Set up the board with a time signature and corresponding basic beat.  Choose the top card from the card set and place on the rhythm board a note(s) or rest value(s), that match the value of the card. The beat counters, that represent the beats, are added below the rhythm. The players take turns until a bar is complete. Once a bar is complete, a bar line is placed after the last beat in the bar and the player claps the rhythm.  Remember the double bar line(black) is placed at the end of the fourth bar. The game continues until all four bars are complete.  The bars of rhythm can be built consecutively or randomly. To play the game by randomly completing bars of rhythm, add bar lines before starting the game. To make the game competitive, each player can be awarded one point by completing a bar of rhythm and clapping it correctly.  The game can continue until a set point is reached.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

It All Fits! -  This game provides students with just enough beats to fill four bars of rhythm. Set up the Rhythm Board with a Time Signature and the Basic Beats. Present only note and rest values that add up to four bars of rhythm. (Ex. In 4/4 time there is a total of 16 beats for four bars of rhythm). The purpose of the game is to correctly place all the pieces on the rhythm board then clap and count the rhythm.                                  


                                       If you wish to share other game ideas please send them to                                                                                              info@teachingaidsformusic.com.  We would be happy to post them on

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