I tried something different with my beginners a while ago – ages 7 – 8yrs and they enjoyed it. I drew semibreves, minims, dotted minims, crothchets and crotchet rests on the board in random order. They had to walk forward a step and count 4 for the semibreve, 3 for dotted minim etc and no moving for the rest. To make it a little more interesting if the tail of the minim or crotchet was down they walked backwards and if up they walked forwards. As the game progressed I added staccato notes where they had to jump not step. They really enjoyed it and it made the idea of the different notes more meaningful as well as the difference between the dotted note and the staccato. I also grouped them in different time signatures and so they realised that 2/4 finished sooner than 4/4. As most children they were quite competitive so there were races and then those that were eliminated if they got something wrong. I only allowed this after they were comfortable with the concept.
Submitted by Margi Diab