19 Amazing Music Games And Activities For Kids

Music Games For Kids

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Music is the food for the soul. Whether it is rock, pop, classical, or hip-hop, music can calm your mind and rejuvenate your senses. Music also has a positive effect on children’s overall development. Research says that music training can aid in the faster development of the brain (1). Music can also add fun to the regular games that kids play.

Here, MomJunction has compiled a list of fun music games for kids, some simple and some complicated. But all of them promise one thing – to deliver fun!

Easy Music Games For Children

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!

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.

[ Read: Educational Games For Teens ]

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

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.

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.

[ Read: Group Games For Children ]

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.

[ Read: Musical Instruments For Kids ]

8. Musical trivia

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.

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.

[ Read: Team Building Activities For Kids ]

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!

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Now, how about we mix singing and dancing together and make it more fun for the kids?

Games That Make You Move To The Music

Games That Make You Move To The Music

Image: Shutterstock / iStock

When you want to combine physical activity with musical activity, these are the games to rely on.

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!

[ Read: Dance Party Games For Kids ]

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!

15. Mood music

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
  • 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.

[ Read: Number Games For Kids ]

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!

[ Read: Party Games For Kids ]

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!

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If these games aren’t enough, think about the different ways in which you can club music with the usual games such as red rover, rope jump, hopscotch, the floor is lava, and so on. You can also add music to ordinary tasks or household chores and make them more fun and less mundane. For instance, you could play music while gardening, cooking, doing the dishes, or even washing the car.

A little bit of music can bring life to even the dullest of tasks!

[ Read: Water Games For Kids ]

Share any ideas that you have to make kids’ games better with music. Our other readers would love to know!

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Sagari Gongala

Sagari is a math graduate and studied counseling psychology in postgraduate college, which she uses to understand people better. This skill also helps her write better articles about kids and their behavior. She is meticulous in her research and gives you information that could be the ultimate help you’ll need in times of need. An animal lover, vegan, and coffee addict, Sagari puts her mind and soul into whatever she does. During her free time, you'll find her either rescuing a sick/injured animal with a friend, or glued to her couch watching Sons Of Anarchy on Netflix.
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