With Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, I’m starting to include some seasonal games and activities in my group classes and private lessons. I’ve found that seasonal games don’t have to be complicated and expensive to create, but can add just an extra bit of fun. One of the simplest ways I’ve found to turn ordinary activities into a seasonal game is by using die-cut or foam shapes that relate to the season.
Last year I purchased some cardstock pumpkins and leaves from Teacher’s Tools and used these to create a concentration-type matching game. On some a drew a musical symbol (such as f, a repeat sign, a whole note, etc.) and then wrote the corresponding names of the symbols on others. I then place these in a grid, face-down, on the floor. Students take turns flipping over two until they get a match. Once they find a match, they have to tell me what the symbol means, correctly, and then they keep the match. The student with the most matches at the end wins! This was one of my group class’ favorite games last year, and yet it was so simple to make. You can easily do the same on Christmas cut-outs (maybe stockings or Christmas trees), Valentine’s hearts, St. Patrick’s day clovers, or anything else seasonal.
I’ve also found foam cutouts at the Dollar Tree and used these to make various flashcards. I draw an interval, note, rhythm or anything musical on one side and then just use them like flashcards in the lesson. It doesn’t seem like it would be that much fun, but for kids just the fact that it’s on a Valentine’s heart seems to multiply the fun. Once you’ve made a few seasonal sets of these you can re-use them from year to year!
Spring Seals, NCTM, teaches 60 piano students ranging from age 3 to 70 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also serves as the Director of Certification for TMTA. She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in their studios through professional development, new resources, and fresh ideas.