Games for Reinforcing Rhythm

by Abby @ Quaver on June 11, 2013

in In the Quaver Classroom!

Quaver Teacher Amanda Gonzales of Rincon, Georgia is a huge fan of using games to reinforce musical concepts!

Check out her ideas for energizing your Rhythm Review:

I truly enjoy incorporating games into my lessons.  Kids of all ages enjoy playing games, and research clearly shows that kids learn best when they are engaged and having fun.  Try these as a class or in Centers! My students earn Center Days once a semester based on classroom behavior and participation.  It’s a great motivator and incentive!  I set the games up and the students rotate through them during the class period.

My favorite Quaver Rhythm Games:

The following games are IWB activities located in the Rhythm Classroom at

  • Fur-Cussion – Students click and drag furry animals to a shell to create rhythms, then hit play to hear the animals clap the rhythm.  There are many fun ways to incorporate this IWB activity into your classroom.  One of my favorites is rhythmic dictation. Give your students a paper that has 4 squares.  When you hit play have them write the 4 beat rhythm they hear into the 4 squares.
    • Hint: if you laminate your paper or slide them into sheet protectors you can use dry erase markers and reuse them.  For more advanced students you can add rows to make the dictation a little longer!


  • Rhythm Selectah – In this activity, you drag iconic representation of a measure onto a grid.  The icons automatically fill the correct number of squares according to the note’s rhythmic value. My students enjoy getting a chance to compose their own rhythm by selecting and dragging the icons to the grid.  After you have filled in the grid, practice the rhythm as a class.  Throw in some instruments, and the kids will have a blast!  You can even select to show your students the actual notation as well.

Rhythm Selectah

  • Tic Qac Toe – Traditional Tic Tac Toe, but you mark your square with X or O by clapping the rhythm in the square.  This is a great IWB activity to play in 2 teams.


  • Patterns – I love this listening activity!  Bob and Dillon (two furry friends) clap or play various rhythms.  Students listen and identify the rhythm as same or different.  Choose from a teacher mode or two options of Game Mode; Game Mode 2 is my favorite for my older students. Students listen to the rhythm and then select the correct rhythm from 2 provided patterns.


Other favorite activities:

  • Rhythm Memory – Played just like Memory or Concentration.  Draw rhythms on the back of cards (I used blank cards stock and laminated it).  Make 2 identical sets, and mix the two sets together.  Lay the cards face down.  Student take turns turning over 2 cards at a time.  If they are a match, they keep the match and take another turn.  If they are not a match their turn is over and play continues to the next child.
  • Popsicle Stick Notation – Using popsicle sticks you can make quarter note/rest and eighth notes.  The popsicle sticks represent the stems of the notes, don’t worry about the note heads.  One stick is a quarter note, two sticks joined at the top are the 8th notes and the letter Z is the quarter rest.  You can compose rhythms, practicing clapping/playing rhythms as a team, whole class or individuals.
  • Play Dough Notation – Students create rhythmic notation using play dough.  Once they can clap and say the rhythm they create they create another one.  Kids of all ages enjoy play dough (even teachers!).
  • Sidewalk Chalk – On a warm day I will take my younger students outside with sidewalk chalk to practice drawing quarter note/rest, and eighth notes.  Once they finish drawing they clap and say their rhythms for me.  We all enjoy getting to go outside for a little bit of sunshine!

Check out this Lesson Plan for Teaching a Whole Lesson with Quaver’s Rhythm Episode and Activities, and find even more ideas in our Qmunity Forum of Quaver Teachers (it’s free to join and share!).

What favorite Rhythm games would you add to Amanda’s list?



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