Rhythm Round About

Rhythm Round About is a great game for students who can’t remember the rhythmic names of notes. My younger ones don’t have any trouble remembering how many beats a note is worth, but they often either forget the name, or get the names mixed up. This is especially true with rests. I wanted a fun activity that would only take a few minutes of lesson time, and this is what I came up with.  Rhythm Round About moves along quickly, and if you only have a few minutes left at the end of a lesson, you might be able to play it several times. I tested it quite a lot with my students and they gave me helpful suggestions!

Print two or more pages of these cards

I found that printing 2 pages of the card PDF is enough for a teacher/student game. The cards will run out, but shuffle them and keep going.

I did something different for the cards that go along with this game. A few years ago I bought a huge box of blank perforated business cards at a warehouse store for a very reasonable price.  I made the cards for this game to fit business cards, and I really like the size, and the fact that I don’t have to cut out anything!  The cards are 2″ X 3 1/2″.  For those of you who don’t have any blank business cards, my PDF also contains short cutting lines. [Update: The cards now have cutting lines.]

Since I love graphics, I usually draw a colorful back for my game cards.  This one has little pianos covered by dots to match the game board.

This is the optional back of the cards. You do not have to use it.

I laminated the game board, but  I coated the cards  with clear acrylic matte coating to keep the ink from smearing. Here in hot Texas, students’ hands will cause ink to smudge. If you are in a cooler climate, you might not have this problem. [Update: Newer printer ink doesn’t seem to have the same problem, with smearing as the older printers!]

This is a good game to check if your students really know the rhythm symbol names for association tests!

If your students enjoy this game, leave a comment!

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24 thoughts to “Rhythm Round About – to identify notes and rests

  • Barb Ennis

    Hi Susan,
    It took me a while to figure out that the background and cards are in the file with the gameboard! Not on your smaller photos! My students have been enjoying this game for years. I just found the advanced cards – some are ready for those and I think they will be pleased to play a favourite game with a new challenge!

    • Susan Paradis

      I’m glad you are able to use them! The small graphics are made for web only, as you figured out!

  • Kat Osborne

    This is wonderful! My students love it; they love to “catch” the teacher’s incorrect move, and send her back to “Start”. (Like the game SORRY) I would love to see a blank board game template same as this one where we could write with dry erase pens and add our own subject matter. I think it would work really well with dynamic signs. Would be nice to use the terms legato, vivace, andante, etc. Would also be a great way to refresh the older students with their key signatures. Is it possible to make a blank one?
    Thanks so much for all your dedicated work. It is, I know, a work borne from love for music and student alike.
    Kat Osborne

    • susanparadis

      Kat, I’m really happy to share and my students love to send me back and beat me. It’s all in fun, but they learn, too.

      Check out Climbing Up the Mountain. It’s a very colorful blank board game you can use for many games.


  • Dianna Denley

    Thank you SO much for this one, and for the UK version as well 😀 We use the UK names in Australia. This game is going to come in handy with my 4 year olds. Thanks again.


  • Kath

    Like many people I was very excited to see such a fun, visually appealing yet simple and very effective way of revising rhythm values. As you say Susan it is very quick to play, so extremely pratical to use and I have found appeals to all ages including the older student, so is very versatile. Big thank you!

    One plea on behalf of us UK teachers, (like the first commenter ont on this game),would it be possible to have the cards in a UK version as well? i.e crotchet, minim etc

    I like to teach the American names which make SO much more sense musically but UK students do also need to be aware of and know the english equivalents, so it would be great if we could play using a mix of UK and American terms?

    Many thanks

    • susanparadis

      I would be very happy to make some cards for the UK if someone would send me the correct names. I’ve tried to remember them, but since I never use them I keep forgetting. What are the equivalents?

      I’m always happy to help out teachers in other countries!

  • Lauren

    That looks great! I often find it hard to get colourful and fun resources to make learning notes fun… and in the UK it’s even more confusing as we can’t refer to them as whole, half or quarter notes etc, they’re semibreves, minims and crotchets. I’d say the most difficult obstacle in teaching a 6-year-old to read music is getting them to pronounce these words! Then they have to learn the time values separately too! Phew… But this looks like a really helpful resource to start using with my beginners to reinforce note names and time values 🙂

  • Karen Warne

    This game is awesome! THANK YOU for making the cards so easy to make with business card paper. After I ran off the cards I noticed that the word “Move” on the “Move Forward” cards is mispelled. It was easy to white-out and correct but thought you might want to fix it.

    • susanparadis


      It is now corrected. Thanks so much for letting me know! I need teachers to point out my mistakes. Because of my eye problems, I depend a lot on spell check, and of course it didn’t catch this one. None of my students noticed it!

      I’m also glad you like the business card format. It really worked well for me and I like the size.

  • carol dawn

    Played this with several of my students. The end was exciting since we used the rule that you had to get a whole note to win. Had to shuffle the cards several times to finally get a winner. Lots of learning in the process.

  • ELizabeth

    Thanks! This is fabulous and my students LOVED it!
    I also love how colorful it is.

    • susanparadis

      Thanks! It has been really popular in my studio, too.

  • Natalia

    Hi Susan, thank you for another wonderful game! It looks great and I can’t wait to try it out with my students!
    The only question is, I’m not sure how to play it 🙂 What are the rules of the game?
    Thank you so much!


    • susanparadis

      It’s more fun to play with the teacher. The player draws a card and moves to the note he draws. The first person to reach the last whole note wins!

  • jacreekmore@bellsouth.net

    Beautiful gameboard. Thanks so much for posting. 🙂

  • Valerie

    My daughter just said, “Looks so fun, Mom, can I play with you?!” Can’t wait to try it out!

  • Heidi N

    I love the bright colorful background you made on the gameboard. I definitely have some students who will benefit from this.

    • susanparadis

      I always appreciate you taking the time to comment! I had so much fun with the colors on this one. You should see the colors I rejected – really wild!

  • Emily

    I opened up your website today, saw this game board, and exclaimed out loud, “Oh my gosh, that’s awesome!” 🙂
    I think my students are going to love this. Very colorful! Thanks so much!

    • susanparadis

      Thanks for the awesome comment!

  • wharton@prodigy.net

    When I opened the PDF for the rhythm board, it was only the Colorful Backs for Cards that opened. Is it something I’m not doing correctly?

    Kimberly C.

    • susanparadis

      Thanks! I noticed that right after I posted it, and I have fixed it now.

      It gets complicated because it takes me so long to post on my website and then come here and post on my blog, too. And a post like this with 4 links is easy for me to get mixed up!

  • EJ

    Looks Awesome – FYI – the download for the game board is a download of the card backside.


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