- Instruments: For this game, the fun is in making the instruments. Remember making maracas out of beans and paper plates in elementary school? This is the time to put those skills to use. You could also us buckets or pots for drums, a pencil and glass as a triangle of sorts, or blow across the lip of an empty bottle like a flute. Make rhythms and patterns for each instrument, and start a family band. The rhythms don’t have to be perfect. Just play a pattern over and over again. Pull up a song and tap along to the beat with your homemade instruments.
- Catch: This is actually a game I made up on the spot in a lesson once. I had a student that wouldn’t sit down, so I said, “Let’s play a game” without thinking. I had to come up with something fast, so naturally this game is very simple. You play catch. Now, there is a twist. Each time you catch the ball, name something to do with music. This can be quarter notes, rest, even something like silence, beat, or drums. You don’t have to know anything about music. You can even ask them to teach you about a few. This will solidify the concepts in their mind even more when they have to teach it themselves.
- Copycat: Copycat is all mimicking. You can play this game using notes, rhythm, or anything really. The concept is simple. One of you plays a small portion of a song (or make up one), and you copy. You don’t have to know notes or rhythm; you just have to copy exactly what they do. Make this more fun by adding in odd requests like playing a couple notes with your elbow or nose or playing it while standing up.
- Conducting: I don’t know if this counts as a game, but it can be fun. Put on some music and stand side-by-side as if you are conductors of a large orchestra. Move your arms with the beat and exaggerate your movements. You don’t have to understand music, just feel the beat. Eventually you will get a feel for how many beats there are before the next downbeat.
- Musical pillows: This game is played just like musical chairs. Place pillows for each person (minus one) in a circle. Press play on the music and have the kids walk around a circle of pillows until it stops. When it stops, everyone races to find a seat. You can change this up by having them mimic the emotion of the music or walk like certain animals to the beat.
No matter your musical ability, you can always find ways to help your children learn and love music. All that really matters is that they have fun and are excited to learn more.
Annah grew up in Minnesota, but now lives in Rexburg. She is a visual communication major at Brigham Young University - Idaho, and also works at Love Family Piano. She grew up helping her family with her piano playing skills by editing songs her mother had written and writing duets for her clarinet-playing brother so they could play together. While serving in the Utah Salt Lake City West LDS mission, she accompanied a mission choir under the direction of Marshall McDonald, along with accompanying solos and group numbers. Annah has also served as pianist and organist in her local congregation. She loves being able to mix her love for communication and piano. Visit her personal blog and see what else she is up to.