Snowmen and Reindeer Rhythm Game

Snowmen and Reindeer Rhythm Game

I designed 3 Christmas games as timed games because students like to play against the clock and I haven’t done that lately.  Today I am posting the rhythm version of this set.

Students should be familiar with the rhythm values of notes and rests. Be sure to mention these are the values in 4/4 time.

I have tested these games with students in grades 1-4 and they have liked them. As a matter of fact, we test  every game before I post it!

I have an inexpensive 1 minute sand timer  that I bought from a school supply store, but I also have been using the stop watch timer on my phone. Most of the time  we  use both,  because they love the novelty factor of the sand timer. In fact, I think that’s one reason they like this game so much!

Students should be familiar with the rhythm values of notes and rests. Since note valued change depending on the meter, be sure to mention these are the values in 4/4 time.


  •  review rhythm values in 4/4 time
  • practice fine motor speed and coordination
  • quickly identify rhythm values under pressure
  • to play a fun seasonal game in less than 3 minutes at an individual music lesson


  • Younger children, ages 5-9  who like cartoon graphics

Materials Needed

  • Printed game board and flash cards
  • Sand timer or stop watch
  • Bingo chips


Give the student a set of rhythm flash cards. Set the timer.  The student quickly draws a flash card and places a bingo chip on the corresponding number of beats the note gets in 4/4 meter. The object is to cover all the numbers on the game board in the fastest time possible. Using a stop watch, let the student try 3 times to increase their speed.

The game is more challenging if there are more flash cards than there are spaces on the board. I’ve tried it both ways and for the younger children  I settled on 7 cards, enough cards to cover the board. My students wanted to play it several times as I timed them on my phone stopwatch. One of my students said he liked it because it was “different.” Sometimes my older students see my games and want to play, too, especially in a private lesson when they don’t have to act older than they are. I try to think of ways to make the game harder for them.

Tomorrow I will post the interval version of this game.

As a music educator, I know how important it is to know the objectives of educational games and activities. That is why I am going to try to post the objectives of each game from now on, if I have time. If you find this useful, please leave some feedback in the comment section.

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20 thoughts to “Snowmen and Reindeer Games – Rhythm

  • Diane Conway

    Thanks so much! As always, I love what you share with others! You are the best and I am thankful for you!

    • susanparadis

      Thank you! I love to share my things and I”m so happy there is actually someone who can use it!

  • Susan Hong

    As always Susan,
    we are so lucky to have a teacher who is so creative and willing to
    share with us your passion for teaching piano. All I can say is thank you so very much.
    Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year !!

  • Ann

    An adult student – beginner!
    is interested in When the Saints Go Marching In…
    do you have an easy arrangement on your website?
    Thanks for all you do…

    • susanparadis

      Ann, no I don’t have one, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one somewhere. Maybe if you do a Google search you can find one!

  • Connie Cannon

    I can’t believe you will share these wonderful ideas and graphics for free. I appreciate it more than I can say and will send a donation soon.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • susanparadis

      What a nice thing to say! And thanks for considering a donation, because, if teachers are able, I do appreciate it! When a site gets this big, it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain.

  • Beth

    Hi Susan,

    I, too, am sorry if my comment came off as grumbling! I truly appreciate your games & other resources, and I know the parents appreciate the quality as well. I teach group piano classes, so each time I want to play a game, I need six copies, which all adds up quickly. Anne Crosby posted 2 versions of the same game (“Interval School”) that I really appreciated — one in gorgeous full colour (as gorgeous as yours!) & the other which was considerably easier on the ink.

    I’ll definitely consider a “printing fee” for next year — thanks for the idea.

    As always, I am in awe at your creativity. You are truly a blessing to each & every one of us (and our students!) who follow your blog.

    Merry Christmas, Susan!

    • susanparadis


      I actually like feedback of any kind, so thank you for your comments. When I made these I just wasn’t thinking about groups. That would really use a lot of ink. I make most of my games for individual lessons.

      I went through a red cartridge last year with my Valentine game for my February group lesson. I just get carried away when I start drawing, I guess. I will try to remember to make an outline version next time I make a full color one. Also, be sure and check if your printer can do that, too. It’s usually under advanced settings.


  • Hannah

    I love the objectives!! I think it is important, too.

    You had told me about the “fast” setting on my printer and it is great! It is saving me lots of money on ink.

    My students love the special Christmas-themed games and activities. Thank you so much for helping me make music lessons fun for my students.

    • susanparadis


      Thanks for the comments about the objectives. I think it is important for parents to realize that the games and activities are not just time wasters or just for fun, but “learning through doing.”

      Once parents realize how much they are learning, they do not mind paying an “ink and paper” fee.

      Also, paper can be expensive, but a 150 pack of card stock lasts for years. Walmart has good prices on Card-stock.

  • Evelyn

    You are a very creative lady! Thank you for sharing!

    • susanparadis

      Thank you Evelyn. I’m glad you like it!

  • meganhughesmusic

    I can’t wait for the interval version. Just what I need this week for several students.
    I know Christmas is a big motivator for some students, but if you can use more generic graphics the games would be useful year-round. Also for those who break out in hives from Christmas. Like me.

    • susanparadis

      Please go to my website (not this blog) and scroll through all the games. Over 40 of the games are not seasonal, so I think you can find plenty of year round games. If you want a rhythm game like this, but not seasonal, try the Rhythm Memory Game. After the New Year I have some new generic games I’m going to post, so check back then.

      • meganhughesmusic

        Sorry, didn’t mean to sound curmudgeonly. I know and love all your games, but of course I want the shiny new ones the most. You are right, the timing aspect is great. I only have 2 more lessons until winter break and half my students are Jewish so I just wanted to get more use out of the games.

        • susanparadis

          You didn’t sound curmudgeonly. Actually I like any kind of feedback, so I appreciate your thoughts. I have a couple of Chanukah worksheets on my site and according to my stats are the least downloaded thing on my site. I need to make some pretty Chanukah games!

  • Beth

    Yes, your graphics are beautiful! I’d love it even more if you had a printer-ink-friendly version. Maybe just outlines in colour, instead of solid colour. Your designs are so cute, I’m going through printer ink way too fast! Beautiful!

    • susanparadis

      To be honest, Beth, I like all the color! Here are some suggestions to help with the cost of ink:

      Many teachers charge a printing fee at the beginning of the year. If split among all of your students, it will be minimal for your parents, but will help you out a lot. There is no reason for you to absorb all the cost.

      I always use the economy setting. On some printers that is called “fast.” Don’t print at 600 dpi. It is pretty, but uses more ink and 300 DPI looks fine.

      If your printer will let you print on “ink saver” use that. On my printer it is a black and white outline. Then you can color the graphics yourself.

      Since these are for a special season, I used more ink than normal on them. Also, only one copy is needed in your studio.

      I hope this helps!

  • Heidi N

    What adorable graphics! I’m excited to try this with my students.

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