20 Amazing Music Games And Activities For Kids

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Music games for kids are a great way to teach them about the different genres of music. Music is certainly relaxing, and many consider it food for the soul. Exposing your child to different kinds of music and melodies, whether rock, classical, hip-hop, or pop, could inspire them to pick it up as a hobby and possibly a career too.

Watching musical performances may also help improve their listening skills. Music can positively impact children’s minds, as research suggests. In fact, musical education and training may enable a child’s brain to develop faster (1). It can also add more fun and frolic to the regular games they play every day.

We have compiled below a list of some musical games for kids that will keep them engaging while helping them explore their musical interests.

In This Article

Easy Music Games For Children

Image: Shutterstock / iStock

The idea of fun with music usually involves dancing. But is that the only choice? Well, no. Keep reading to find out.

1. Make your own music

This cool idea can be implemented in music classes. This game allows you to encourage your child’s interest in music in a fun and entertaining way.

You will need:

  • Sheets of paper
  • Color pens

How to play:

  1. Create symbols and denote the sounds they mean. For example, a star symbol means ‘clap’, a circle means ‘stomp your foot’, a triangle means ‘hit the desk’, and a square means ‘snap your fingers’.
  2. Put these instructions on the board and get the children to compose their own music, using only the symbols.
  3. Then let the children display their music on the board while the others follow the ‘notes’ to create the music.

They will clap, they will snap, and clap again before stomping their feet and hitting the desks…! And all of this will be music to their ears! Besides, music composition also encourages creativity in children.

Free Worksheets and Printables for Kids

2. Musical masterpiece

This game brings the best of both worlds – art or drawing and music – to bring out whatever talent the child has. The game is played best in groups or classrooms.

You will need:

  • A music player or a computer
  • Sheets of paper
  • Color pens and pencils for the students

How to play:

  1. Give each student a sheet of paper and color pencils.
  2. Instruct the students to start drawing when you play the music and stop drawing when the music stops.
  3. Leaving the paper and pens at the desk, move to another desk and continue drawing and coloring in that sheet until the music stops again.
  4. Ask them to do so until you tell them to stop.
  5. In the end, they go back to their desks and see the final product.

Note – You can also put these instructions on a chart, big enough for the children to see and play the game.

3. Yes/no game

This is a warm-up game that works with choir groups or just a group of music students at a school.

You will need:

  • Space to play

How to play:

  1. The parent or teacher is the conductor who will say a few musical or rhythmic phrases to begin with and the children will have to repeat.
  2. Then replace the notes with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The children will have to say the opposite of what you say, in the same rhythmic fashion.
  3. For example, if you sing, “No, no, no, yes, no, yes, no, no”, then the kids will have to sing “yes, yes, yes, no, yes, no, yes, yes”.

You can use only one word or mix up the two words to make it confusing and fun for the kids.

4. Musical hide and seek

Musical hide and seek, Music games for kids

Image: IStock

This musical hide and seek is played with objects and is an excellent tool to help the child improve his listening skills.

You will need:

  • A musical toy or device
  • Hiding places

How to play:

  1. The objective of the game is for the child to find the toy by listening to its music.
  2. Turn the toy’s music on and hide it somewhere the child can find.
  3. Keep hiding the toy and make it a little complicated each time.

The more the child plays it, the better his listening skills get.

protip_icon Be watchful
When playing musical hide and seek indoors, ensure that the room has no protrusions that can hurt the players.

5. The passing game

The passing game is a popular party activity that can engage kids for a long time.

You will need:

  • A gift or a package
  • Wrapping paper
  • Chocolates or small toys

How to play:

  1. Wrap the package with as many layers as possible. The more the layers, the better it is for the game.
  2. Between each layer, place a toffee or a small toy.
  3. Make the children sit in a circle. When the music starts, they pass the parcel. And when it stops, they stop.
  4. The kid who is holding the parcel when the music stops should unwrap one layer of the parcel to see if he gets a gift.
  5. The child moves out, and the rest of them continue the game.

The game is played until all the layers are unwrapped. Or you can have multiple parcels and play until there is just one person left.

6. Musical chair reading

This is a variation of the regular musical chairs party game and can be played in a class to encourage reading or recitation.

You will need:

  • Chairs
  • Space
  • Music

How to:

  1. Pick an activity that you want each kid to take turns and do. You could try reading from a book or solving a math problem on the blackboard.
  2. Arrange the chairs in a circular fashion and play the music.
  3. The kids should walk as long as the music is playing and sit in the closest chair as soon as the music stops.
  4. The kid who is left standing when the music stops has to read a para from the book or solve the math problem on the board.

This can be a fun and impartial way to pick students for activities.

7. What’s that sound?

How does the guitar sound? What is the sound of the cello? If you want your child to identify and learn how different instruments sound, you should try this game.

You will need:

  • Music player
  • Different instrumental music

How to play:

  1. Play the sounds of different instruments first.
  2. Then play a simple song with distinct sounds of the instruments and ask the children to identify the instruments.

You can make each level more complicated by playing songs with not-so-distinct instrument sounds.

8. Musical trivia

Musical trivia, Music games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

A quiz about music? Why not! If you want an activity for a music class, have trivia questions relating to musical notes or tunes. Otherwise, it could just be about your kid’s favorite bands or singers and their songs!

You will need:

  • Set of questions
  • Gifts

How to play:

  1. You could make this an individual event or a team event.
  2. When playing this at parties or school, divide the kids into groups. Give them cool team names – you could use names of composers.
  3. You could also use this for revising music lessons and give away gifts to kids who get the answers right.

9. Spin the microphone

Like spin the bottle, spin the mic is a chance game that can be customized any way you want. You can play truth or dare, or turn it into a trivia game or a karaoke event.

You will need:

  • A functional microphone, preferably wireless
  • List of activities or dares you to want the kids to do

How to play:

  1. Have the kids sit in a circle and place the mic in the center.
  2. Get one child to spin the mic.
  3. When it stops spinning, whoever the mic points to should do the dare or activity.

You could make this an elimination game where the person gets to move out of the circle after the activity and new people can join in to replace them.

protip_icon Point to consider
If you are playing the game with older kids, ensure that nobody gets physically or emotionally hurt.

10. Antakshari

A popular local game played in India and the Middle East, Antakshari is a parlor game played in teams. It usually involves singing of Bollywood or regional movie songs, but you can change the rules to sing any songs you like.

You will need:

  • Place to play
  • Microphone (optional)

How to play:

  1. Establishing clear rules is essential to play the game without any glitches.
  2. To start the game, the moderator will pick a letter of the alphabet. The first team has to sing a song (no more than a para or two) starting with that letter.
  3. The next team has to sing a song starting with the consonant that the first team’s song ends with.
  4. And so on, each team has to sing a song starting with the consonant that the previous team’s song ends with.
  5. Any team that fails to do so will lose points.

The team with the highest number of points wins. You can make variations of this game to make it interesting. For instance, you can have different rounds or levels in the game where the kids have to sing songs only from a particular genre or a particular generation or by a particular type of band.

11. Karaoke competitions

Simple but pure fun, karaoke is one thing you can enjoy with family as well as friends.

You will need:

  • A microphone and sound system
  • Karaoke songs – make sure you pick songs that your child knows and enjoys singing

How to play:

  1. Write down a list of songs on small pieces of paper and put them in a box.
  2. Divide the participants into teams.
  3. Your child, along with the partner, has to sing-along the song correctly.

You could score them on tune and tone but avoid judging their singing voice. To make the competition challenging, throw in a few songs that they are not familiar with. That way, they’ll have to use whatever music knowledge they have to try and guess the right tune!

Now, how about we club singing games and dancing to make it more fun for the kids?

Games That Make You Move To The Music

Image: Shutterstock / iStock

Want to get your child moving and grooving to some beats? Try out these interactive games that combine physical activity with musical enjoyment.

12. Dance with props

A simple and silly music game for all ages, dance with props allows you to get creative too.

You will need:

  • Music player
  • Props such as hats, balloons, ribbons, pom-poms, wigs, teddy bears, flowers, and so on
  • Space to dance

How to play:

  1. Create a dance floor – remove any obstacles and make the place child-friendly.
  2. Place all the props on a table, to the side of the room.
  3. As soon as you play the music, the kids will have to run to the table and pick a prop. You can also ask them to pick any other accessory from the room (as long as it is safe) to dance.
  4. Then dance any way they want while using the prop as an accessory.
  5. Once the music ends, they put the prop back on the table.
  6. They go back and pick another prop when the music begins again, and continue dancing in that style.

This way, they can dance for as long as they want!

13. Tissue dance

A tissue dance is more like a balancing act and less of a dance form. But, it is fun!

You will need:

  • A box of tissues
  • Space to dance
  • Music player

How to play:

  1. Give each child a tissue and ask them to put it on their head.
  2. When the music starts, they should start dancing and moving on the dance floor, without letting the tissue fall.
  3. If the tissue falls off the child’s head and he or she catches it before it touches the ground, they can put it back on their head and continue dancing.
  4. But if the tissue falls on the ground, the kid is out.
  5. The last one to stand dancing with the tissue is the winner.

14. Musical statues

A game for one or more people, musical statues can be enjoyed by kids of all ages.

You will need:

  • Music player
  • Space to dance

How to play:

  1. Play the music and ask the kids to dance.
  2. When the music stops, the children should freeze like statues.
  3. The kids have to stand like that for a minute or so, and anyone who moves, giggles, or even wobbles when the music is not playing is out.
  4. When the music is back on, they continue dancing.

The last person dancing on at the end is the champion statue!

Mrs Martin, a blogger and an elementary school music teacher, explains how she taught music lessons to students in third and fifth grades. She says, “I developed this statue game within the constraints of mask-wearing, singing not allowed in person, no shared materials, and social distancing. For this game, I used the song “I Lost the Farmer’s Dairy Key” from 150 American Folk Songs edited by Peter Erdei. I made the connection between the song and the game by saying that the students are statues in the “lady’s garden” from the song. I made it exciting by telling them it was a magic garden where one of the statues would change positions when the farmer wasn’t looking. I use this song to teach anacrusis/pickup. They need LOTS of repetitions of the song to internalize the beat structure. So…we turn it into a game (i)!”

15. Mood music

Mood music, Music games for kids

Image: IStock

This is an excellent way to introduce the kids to different genres of music and the many emotions linked to them. This will help children connect actions with emotions.

You will need:

  • A collection of songs depicting different emotions – anger, happiness, sadness, and silliness
  • Music player and preferably a musical app like Spotify or YouTube.
  • Space to dance

How to play:

  1. Make sure you pick songs that are appropriate for the child’s age.
  2. Then explain the game to the kids and ask them how they would behave when they are happy, sad, cross, etc.
  3. Then tell them that they have to dance according to the mood of the song, which you will mention before playing it.
  4. So for a happy song, you want the kids jumping and moving energetically, while for a sad song they might simply sway.
  5. They could dance silly or aggressively (not violently) when they are angry.

In short, whatever is the mood of the song, the kids have to act it when they dance.

16. Dance like an animal

That’s right. This game will make the kids dance like an animal, literally! Read on to know how.

You will need:

  • A chart of animals/birds/reptiles
  • Songs of different genres
  • Space to dance
  • Music player

How to play:

  1. Put the chart of animals at a place where all the kids can see it.
  2. If the kids are too young, you might want to explain the traits of each animal on the chart before you start the game. You need to tell them how the animal moves, how fast or slow it moves, the sounds it makes, and any other unique traits it has.
  3. For example, a kid who picks a dog has to be on all fours and bark in between while dancing or swaying. A snake has to crawl on the floor and a bird will flap its wings when dancing.
  4. If need be, you could show them a few moves and get a few giggles in return.
  5. Play the music, keep shuffling between genres, from slow to fast and vice versa.

Watch the fun!

17. Party island

The game is highly popular at teen parties and is usually for couples. But, it can be modified a bit to suit children of all ages.

You will need:

  • Music player
  • Space (a lot of it) for dancing
  • Newspapers

How to:

  1. This is a challenging game in which the child has to use his spatial intelligence and his ability to balance to win.
  2. Give each child a sheet of the newspaper and enough space between to dance comfortably.
  3. When the music starts, the children will put the paper on the floor and dance on it. They cannot step on the floor while the music is on.
  4. After a few minutes, stop the music and ask the children to fold the paper exactly in half and put it back on the floor.
  5. When the music starts, the kids have to dance on the folded paper and not step on the folder.

After every few minutes, the kids have to fold the paper in half and dance on it. The smaller the paper gets, the difficult it would be for the kids to stay on it. The child who manages to dance only on the last folded piece of paper wins!

18. Strictly come dancing

This is a group dance competition for kids of all ages. All you need to do is give them some props and accessories, ask them to pick a song of their choice, and prepare a dance routine.

You will need:

  • Music player
  • Space to dance
  • Props and costumes if any for the dancers

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into teams or groups. Give them props or accessories.
  2. Let them pick a song of their choice and prepare a dance routine using the accessories.
  3. Have a competition between the groups, and the team that performs best wins.

19. Musical limbo

Limbo is a game that tests how flexible the body is. Add music, and it becomes all the more fun. In musical limbo, you don’t just walk under the beam. You have to go dancing from under it!

You will need:

  • A long stick or beam
  • Music player
  • Space to play

How to play:

  1. Have two adults hold the beam at a height such that the kids can pass from under it without a lot of effort.
  2. There are two simple rules to this game: the kids have to dance to move, and they should not touch the beam.
  3. Play the music and have the children move from under the beam, one after the other.
  4. Whoever touches the pole or fails to dance while under it is out of the game.
  5. After one round, lower the beam a little and repeat the routine.
  6. Do it until there is only one kid left. The kid who manages to last till the end wins!

20. Draw what you hear

As the game’s name suggests, this activity encourages children to use their imagination and have fun while honing their drawing skills.

You will need:

  • Speakers or a phone to play music.
  • A selection of music (from your collection, YouTube, or a Spotify playlist).
  • Paper, pencil, and coloring material (paper plates, paint, or chalk for outdoor activities).
  • Chairs and tables.

How to:

  1. Set up a music-playing device and arrange drawing materials.
  2. Let the children sit in a comfortable, upright position with their eyes closed.
  3. Play a section of a song, hiding its title to avoid influencing the drawing.
  4. Ask them to think about how the music makes them feel and the images that come to their mind.
  5. Have them draw something inspired by their imaginations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What age group is suitable for music games for children?

A musical or sound-producing toy is one of the first toys given to infants. So, playing music games is not fully restricted by age. If a child knows how to identify and differentiate between sounds, they are suitable to play music games.

2. Can music games for children be played on mobile devices?

Yes, both android and iPhone have music game options in their respective app stores.

3. Can music games improve a child’s creativity and imagination?

Yes, music games can positively impact a child’s creativity and imagination. By engaging in activities such as singing, playing instruments, and composing music, children are encouraged to think creatively, express themselves artistically, and explore their imagination through the world of music (2).

4. What are the key features to consider when choosing music games for kids?

When deciding on music games for children, ensure the games are suitable for the child’s age, offer interactive and captivating gameplay, incorporate educational elements, and provide a diverse range of musical activities.

5. How can music games encourage social interaction among children?

Yes, music games can promote social interaction among children by creating opportunities for collaboration and teamwork. Engaging in group music-making activities encourages communication, coordination, and cooperation. Children learn to listen to and appreciate each other’s contributions, take turns, and work together.

6. How can parents actively participate in music games with their children?

Parents can engage in music games with their children by playing instruments together, singing along with them, and participating in rhythmic movements or dancing. They can offer encouragement, initiate conversations about the music, and create an atmosphere of shared enjoyment.

Music adds a spark to life and has therapeutic effects that heal the body and mind. From making your music to antakshari and karaoke, these musical games for kids are a great way to let your child hop, twist, and shake to the music and enjoy. You can select a suitable musical game based on your child’s age and interests. Use these games to introduce your little one to different genres of music and diversify their understanding. Club the music they love with usual games, such as hopscotch, or add music to daily chores to make them enjoyable. For those inclined, they can learn musical theory that can help them understand the rhythm and timings while playing the musical instruments. Children are able to retain musical memory and creativity through these games and it forms an important part of early childhood development. They can also learn through these play activities that offer a fun learning experience.

Infographic: Easy And Fun Music Games For Children

If your child loves and appreciates music, they’ll surely enjoy playing musical games. We bring you a list of some amazing games that can keep them hooked. They can be played in a play school setting or when your little one’s friends come over for a play date. Keep this infographic handy, so you can use it at the right time.

musical games for babies (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Exposing your child to different types of music can enhance their talent and creativity.
  • Musical games like Musical Hide and Seek, The Passing Game, Musical Chair Reading, and Spin the Microphone are enjoyable group activities.
  • Games such as What’s that Sound, Musical Trivia, and Make your Music can foster curiosity and learning in children.
  • Musical games like Musical Masterpiece, karaoke competitions, Dance with Props, and Mood Music can engage children and improve their coordination.

This musical card game is perfect for kids to practice their English skills. Enjoy the fun of flashcards with a musical twist!

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Children’s brains develop faster with music training
    https://news.usc.edu/102681/childrens-brains-develop-faster-with-music-training/
  2. Creative activities for preschooler learning and development.
    https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/development/creative-development/preschooler-creative-activities
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