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The 2021 Ultimate List of 41 Music Games for Children | Fennies

Olivia Jones

Olivia Jones

Content Writer

Toddler wearing headphones climbing on chair

Move and groove your way through these children’s games that incorporate music, movement and sound! Not only are these games fun, but music is a great way to introduce your child to new vocabulary, improve memory and offer brand new sensory experiences. Here’s a list of our favourites for you to try at home.  

Make your own instruments

Music games for kids are even better when you’ve made the instrument yourself. Here are our favourite DIY musical activities for kids that you can make at home!  

Make an Upcycled Wind Chime

We love any activities for kids that also teach them about the importance of recycling! This simple concept of turning parts of old toys that are unwanted or no longer used by your child into something musical that young children can enjoy so why not make your very own wind chime at home? 

Make your own hand drums

We love these DIY hand drums that will not only let your child make their own music but get creative in the process! The best bit is that they’re completely customisable as you can use any crafts you already have at home such as stickers, wrapping paper, patterned tape and colourful ribbon. 

toddler holding cardboard guitar

Cereal Box Guitar

This is one of the most simple but most effective music games by Made by Joel. All you will need is an empty container such as a plastic bottle or cardboard box and something to fill it with, uncooked pasta or rice and dry cereal work well. This is a great way of turning something already lying around the house into a fantastic activity for young children! Simply click the image to find out more!

CD Cymbals

This is a wonderful way of recycling old or unwanted CDs into a fun musical instrument. Simply loop a piece of string through the centre and your makeshift cymbals are ready to play.  

The great thing about these cymbals is that they don’t make the resounding crash that real cymbals do so they’re both child and parent-friendly!  

Homemade Drums

We love the idea of creating your very own fun music with these homemade drums. This is a great way to use up some materials instead of throwing them away and introduce the importance of recycling to your child. Find out how to make one for yourself! 

Make Your Own Instruments

What can be even more fun than playing a musical instrument? Making it yourself first! Making your own instruments can be one of the best parts of musical games and you can use items you already have lying around the house such as bottles filled with water and tubs of dry pasta.  

paper straws

Make Singing Straws

All you need to make these fun singing straws are some drinking straws and tape... That's it! Your child will love getting involved with making them just as much as they'll love playing them. Click the image to find out more!

Make a Kazoo

Play music and have fun by making your very own kazoo at home! This is an excellent way to recycle any old cardboard tubes you may have around the house as well as getting creative by decorating any way you like (try painting, wrapping paper and colouring pencils!)  

Find out how to make a kazoo 

Sing Nursery Rhymes

When it comes to music games for kids it’s important not to forget one of the best musical instruments there is… your voice! Singing along to nursery rhymes is a great way to help develop children’s language and communication skills and rhyming words and repetition also helps improve memory and introduces new vocabulary.  

Sing along to some nursery rhymes with these baby karaoke songs! 

jar of dried rice

Make Musical Shakers

This is one of the most simple and effective music games by In The Playroom. All you will need is an empty container such as a plastic bottle or cardboard box and something to fill it with, uncooked pasta or rice and dry cereal work well. This is a great way of turning something you already have lying around the house into a fantastic activity for young children! Click the image to find out how to make your own.

Sensory Music Games

Sensory exploration is a huge part of cognitive development in the early years and when multiple senses are stimulated at the same time, these experiences are enhanced.  

Why not try combining new textures, colours, tastes, and sounds within your musical games with these activities? 

Make Your Own Sensory Rain Stick

This is one of our favourite activities for kids to get them involved in creating their own music! This DIY rain stick is not only a chance for you and your child to come up with some great music games, but also for your child to unleash some creativity as they can personalise their rain stick to be exactly how they want it to be.  

Musical Clothes

This is a great party game that can also be used in the early year’s classroom as it helps incorporate music into learning!  

Simply ask the children to sit in a circle and pass around a bag of fun clothing (think wigs, hats, colourful scarves), when the music is turned off, whoever is holding the bag must grab an item of clothing from the bag and put it on. At the end, why not vote who has the craziest costume?  

plastic easter egg shakers

Seed Shakers

We were inspired by these wonderful seed shakers created by One Time Through. Not only are the shakers really easy to make at home, but once you've got your shakers ready, there's a whole variety of fun to be had! Whether you use your shakers to make different sounds or as an exciting colour matching activity, your little one will always be learning something new. Click the image to find out how to make your own!

Sensory Bin Shakers

Why not shake up your musical games with this fun activity? We love these super easy sensory bin shakers that not only help children learn new sounds but explore new textures too. Give it a go at home and allow your child to use their senses, develop their imagination and problem-solving skills.  

Make Bell Sticks

Not only is creating these bell sticks a great way to get creative for young children, but they’re a great way to help develop children’s motor skills as they hold onto the stick to wind around the string. Once the bells are attached, your little one will have lots of fun making their own music!  

wind chimes outdoors

Outdoor Music Wall

Music walls are a great way to create a whole variety of exciting music games with your child. No matter how big or small your space is, your child can make music by crashing, banging, twisting and tapping whatever you decide to add to your music wall. Click the image for some inspiration!

Matching Sound Game

We love this matching sound guessing game that will get your little one tuning into their musical ear. Simply fill some shakers with a variety of different materials you have around your home and ask your child to guess what’s inside by shaking!  

Listen and Draw

This is a firm favourite amongst the children at Fennies! Listen and Draw is one of our well-being activities created by the education team that not only introduces new music but also encourages self-regulation in young children. You can recreate this music game at home by following the below steps:  

  • Give your child a piece of paper and a variety of coloured pens and pencils 
  • Play some mood music (have lots of genres available including classical, rock, upbeat and slow)  
  • Play the music and encourage your child to draw how the music is making them feel  
  • Stop the music and ask the child how the music made them feel, discuss their choice of colour and explain the patterns or pictures they drew  
     

This is an excellent way to help children discuss different types of emotions and whether they associated the different music styles with those feelings.  

The children at Fennies Wimbledon recently took part in this activity.

children painting emotions activity

Group Music Games

As with most things, there’s more fun to be had when shared with friends! These music games are no different and not only are they fun, but playing these games in a group helps children learn important life skills like being a team player, turn-taking and communication skills.  

Musical Masterpiece

We love this game from Mom Junction and the best bit is that all you need is some paper, colourful pens and pencils and music! Ask the children to start drawing and once the music stops, they must move to another desk and continue drawing or colouring someone else’s picture. This is a great way to spark lots of creativity!   

Make Your Own Music

This is a great game to encourage children’s interest in music in a fun and engaging way. Start by creating symbols and tell the children what they represent, for example, a star symbol means ‘clap,’ a circle means ‘stomp your foot’ a triangle means ‘click your fingers’ etc. Place the symbols on the floor in different sequences and ask the children to make their own music by following the notes.   

music for kiddos music class video

Watch Our Virtual Music Class

Watch our virtual music class hosted by Stephanie Leavell at Music for Kiddos! This is a great way for children to move and groove and learn something new. You can watch a snippet here or if you're a Fennies parent, you can visit our YouTube channel and watch the full event.

Freeze Dance

This freeze dance fun music game is as simple as it sounds! To play freeze dance, play music and have fun dancing with your little one, as soon as the music stops, you must stand completely still. This is a great way to encourage children’s reaction and balance skills plus you’ll have a giggle at the funny positions you freeze in.  

Bingo Dance-o

This is a great active game that preschoolers will love! Think musical chairs with a twist. Number large sheets of paper from 1 to however many children are playing the game and number some prizes to correspond with the paper. Play some music and ask the children to walk around the sheets of paper, when the music stops the children must stand on a sheet of paper. The child standing on the number of the prize drawn wins the prize! This is a great way to allow children to develop their instruction following skills.    

parent and toddler playing music games

Musical Charades

Why not put a twist on a fun game that we all know and love? For this fun music game, give each child an opportunity to select a song, they then have to act out the name of the song using actions until someone guesses correctly. This is a fun way of developing children's communication and language skills!

Musical Hot Potato

To play Musical Hot Potato, the rules are simple. Ask all children to sit in a circle and play some music, as the music plays the children must pass around an egg shaker, ball or any object around the circle. Stop the music at any point of the song and ask the child holding the shaker a question (such as “what’s your favourite colour” or “what’s your favourite song?”). This will give each child an opportunity to share a fun fact about themselves as well as learning about their peers. 

Try a Song Cube

Song cubes are a great way at incorporating music games into your child’s everyday activities. You will need to create 2 cubes, one that includes different actions and one that includes a variety of nursery rhymes or your child’s favourite songs. Once both cubes have been rolled, encourage your child to do the actions along with the song for example if the cube lands on ‘clap your hands’ and ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ your child must clap their hands to the tune of the song. The best part is, children can play with them as a group and sit in a circle and take turns or play independently.  

Balloon Bounce

For this fun music game, think musical chairs, but with a twist. Give each child a balloon and play music and encourage them to move and sing along and bounce their balloon in the air, when the music stops, if their balloon is in the air they’re out of the game. The last person holding their balloon at the end of the game wins!  

Not only is this a fun game to play but it also helps boost children’s attention and focus skills.  

children circle time music game

Extra Beat Take a Seat

We were inspired by the game 'extra beat take a seat,' that's typically played in primary school, but can easily be modified for the early years. Simply ask the children to sit in a circle and tap, clap or use a rain stick to play a familiar beat they'll recognise. As they get older, you will be able to make the game more complex, as you can see demonstrated by Becca's Music Room by clicking on the picture.

Play name that tune

This is one of our music games that is great for both adults and children to play along together. To play name that tune, all you have to do is play an introduction or snippet of a song or nursery rhyme and ask the children to name the song title.

This is also a great way to help encourage children to take turns and work as part of a team!

Action Rhymes

No objects to hand? No problem! These nursery rhymes with matching actions are a fun way of levelling up your sing a longs. When you incorporate actions into nursery rhymes, it helps support children’s memory and physical development.

STEM Games

Music games for kids can also incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts that are a great way to boost your child’s problem-solving skills from an early age. These are some of our music-themed activities that your kids will love!

Musical Instrument Challenge

This STEM musical instrument challenge from there’s just one mommy is a great way to encourage your child’s problem-solving and critical thinking abilities whilst still getting to make music!

Simply fill a container with a variety of items from around your home such as tubs, lids, cardboard tubes and empty cereal boxes and challenge them to create their very own instruments.

This game can be tweaked depending on your child’s age and is a great opportunity to expand their learning as they grow.

toddler playing with colourful xylophone

Colour Matching Xylophone

Music games for kids don't always have to involve lots of loud noises and big actions, that's why this colour matching xylophone activity is a fun way for young children to not only learn about music but an understanding of matching, colours and imaginative play. Click on the image to discover more!

Name that Tune

One of the most simple music games for kids that can also provide hours of fun is name that tune! Ask your child to think of a tune or song and encourage them to hum, click or clap out the rhythm, the first one to guess the song correctly is the winner!

This activity will exercise those memory muscles and support cognitive development.

Shaker Guessing Game

This egg shaker guessing game is one of those music games that you can change up each time you play and is therefore never boring- very important for young children!

Simply fill each shaker with a different filling and encourage your child to guess what’s inside. This will allow them to think critically and be able to identify how different fillings can make different sounds.

Sound Hunt

This sound hunt game is a great way to help children explore the world around them by paying attention to all the different noises they can hear. This is a wonderful way for your child to tune into nature and become aware of something they may not have usually noticed.

Music Book Recommendations

Music games for kids don’t have to be loud and energetic, children can express their love of music through storytime just as much.

These are our book recommendations and read alongs that will support your child’s communication and listening skills.

Read Room on the Broom

Julia Donaldson’s picture book, ‘Room on the Broom,’ tells the story of a kind witch who gradually welcomes a collection of animals to join her on her broom. The fun rhyming book will be sure to keep them engaged and giggling throughout as the characters go on their exciting adventure.

Watch our Chief Operating Officer Kirstie Davis’ Room on the Broom read-along here.

Read 'Mr Brown Can Moo, Can You?'

Storytime is another great way you can get your child excited about music and rhythm. We love the book ‘Mr brown can moo, can you?’ by Dr Seuss which encourages children to explore all the different sounds they can make, like the pip of a goldfish kiss and the grum grum of a hippo chewing gum!

This will keep your child giggling all the way through and the fun rhymes will help enhance their language and communication development.

Read 'The Gruffalo'

The Gruffalo is a firm favourite on the Fennies bookshelves! The story follows a mouse that invents the Gruffalo, a creature with “terrible claws and tusks in its terrible jaw, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose” in the hope to ward off enemies.

This rhythmic rhyming story will definitely entertain!

Read 'Oi Frog'

The Gruffalo is a firm favourite on the Fennies bookshelves! The story follows a mouse that invents the Gruffalo, a creature with “terrible claws and tusks in its terrible jaw, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose” in the hope to ward off enemies.

This rhythmic rhyming story will definitely entertain!

Frozen children's readalong video

Watch our Frozen-themed Read Along

Do you want to build a snowman? Well snuggle up and have warm hugs with Olaf and Elsa with our virtual read along hosted by Sian from Snow Princess Parties. You can watch a snippet here or if you're a Fennies parent head over to our YouTube channel to watch the full read along.

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