Step 5: Play Musical Games

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Playing musical games is great fun for children! Using music adds a sense of anticipation to the game, making it much more exciting. It’s a brilliant way of exposing your children to a wider variety of music – encouraging them to listen to it, with the distraction of doing something they enjoy will create a positive association to the music you choose. Keep the games interesting by adapting them as they get older and more confident, and invite their friends round to join in.

Play Party Games

You know all the classics:

  • Musical Statues
  • Musical Bumps
  • Pass the Parcel
  • Musical Chairs
  • Limbo

Playing games teaches children to take turns and listen to instructions. These all involve lots of movement and so will burn lots of energy too! To make it even more interesting, alternate between music that is fast/slow, happy/sad, exciting/angry, etc. Encourage your children to move in a way that reflects the music they can hear.

Host a Musical Gameshow, Like You’ve Seen on TV

Invite some friends round and get creative:

Strictly Come Dancing

  • Dress up in your most glam clothes – think feathers, glitter, and bright materials
  • Pick a variety of music from different decades – Dirty Dancing, Grease, Footloose, and Save the Last Dance should all provide lots of inspiration
  • Make score cards using glittery silver card, and take it in turns to sit on the judging panel
  • Dance individually or with partners, according to the number of children you have
  • Award points according to:
    • Best dancing
    • Best effort
    • Dancing that is best suited to the chosen music


  • Ask each child to come up with a persona for a contestant – think outfit, hairstyle, accent, behaviour
  • Get each child to ‘audition’ individually. The trick here is that everyone gets through this round, but use it to pair children up, or put them in groups that they will perform with in the ‘final’.
  • Give each group a choice of songs to perform, and give them 30 minutes to rehearse together. This is a good opportunity to serve some snacks!
  • Set the scene for the final. Set up an area for the ‘stage’, make some microphones, and turn on some disco lights.
  • Each group can now perform their song! Each child can then vote for their favourite to decide the winner!

Make Your Own Instruments

Make your own instruments, and let your child be as inventive as they like.

  • Fill bottles and other closed containers with rice, lentils, pasta, salt – anything that will make an interesting sound when shaken
  • Tie ribbon through old CDs to make a pair of cymbals
  • Cut a coconut shell in half and clap them together to make a ‘clippity clop’ sound

Set up a stage for your child to perform on, and let them be a popstar for a day.  Choose some music for them to perform, and decide who will be playing which instrument (don’t forget you’ll need a singer). Help them to pick their costumes and style their hair. Make microphones out of hairbrushes or toilet rolls, set up your camera to make them feel like rock stars, and they’re all ready to go. Let their imagination run wild – nothing is too crazy!

Now you have completed Step 5, click here for Step 6.