This Pony Rhythm Game is extremely popular and works really well within a pony themed lesson or unit. Everyone loves ponies! And while kids love pretending to gallop around they can learn a lot about rhythm and note recognition too.
The best instruments for playing pony games has to be coconut clip clops! And they have the double bonus of being cheap and delicious too! Check our DIY Coconuts post for the easy tutorial. If you can’t get hold of any coconuts then wooden sticks and tone blocks would also work very well.
How to use the Pony Rhythm Game free printable rhythm cards
1. Spend a little time working through the rhythm cards together, making sure that the children are familiar with which rhythm belongs to which picture. First demonstrate the rhythms with the words, then ask them to repeat them with you together.
2. Make sure everyone has some clip clop sounding instruments. You can see how we made our own here.
3. Mix up the cards and hold each one up in turn to see if they can recognize the correct matching rhythm. They might need a little prompting – you can do this by joining in with them so they follow your lead.
4. Now prepare for the movement part of the game. Ask the children to ‘blow some magic in their hands and rub it on their feet’ (a great way to engage imaginative movement!) Explain that they are all going to pretend to be the horses now. You stand in the middle pick a card. First tap the rhythm, which you ask them to identify, then they trot , swish and clip clop accordingly.
6. When they have got the idea, you can choose another ‘Ring Leader’ who can stand in the middle and pick the cards. They need to demonstrate the rhythm (stand nearby incase they need a little help) and the rest of the group has to decide which action it requires by listening carefully.
This game can be played very simply at first for little ones who just love trotting around like little ponies, or you can develop the listening and note recognition further as you try each added step to make it more challenging. A very good way to finish off is to just have a coconut accompanied race around the room to some excellent Horsey themed music like The Post Horn Galop. Have a listen to YouTube clip below!
You can check out my Pony Lesson Plan for inspiration on how to use the Horse Rhythm Game with other related activities in a music lesson.
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