Summer is a great time for being outdoors, enjoying both the nice weather and the people in our lives. As we take the time for picnics, festivals, and playing in the water, we find ourselves naturally drawn to the activities we enjoyed in our youth. One of the things we never outgrow is playing games. As we get older, the types of games we play may change, but music is the great equalizer and nothing is better than rhythm games for summer fun.
Rhythm games have probably been enjoyed since humans have had hands. One of the spectacular things about them is that no instruments are required. If you can clap, you can play a rhythm game. If you have a hand drum, like a djembe or set of bongos, it can be even better. A basic formula for rhythm games is to play them like a version of “Simon Says”. One person presents a rhythm and the others have to copy it. The game starts over when someone makes a mistake. Games like this are great for developing both coordination and listening skills.
The great thing about this basic rhythm game is that it can be played with any instrument you have available. Even just using your hands, feet, and voice can provide hours of stimulating fun. This is how many people naturally play with babies, but that doesn’t make it an infantile activity. It does, however, make it extremely portable. When out picnicking or camping, no extra materials need to be brought along when your mind is set on rhythm games for summer fun.
Another fun rhythm game works like cooperative storytelling, or call and response drumming. One person begins a rhythm and another person adds to it until everyone has contributed to the song many times over. There are variations on this theme. Perhaps each person will only play one note or maybe each person is allowed to play for three seconds. One of the benefits of rhythm games for summer fun is that they need not be competitive. Everyone can take part in making up the rules and everyone can play along, no matter what drums or other instruments are present.
Rhythm games appeal to every age, instrument, and skill level. Play is an important part of maintaining a creative spirit, so these types of games are a fun way to enhance a person’s musicianship. Rhythm games also encourage social skills and foster cooperation as well as a healthy sense of competition, if participants want to play that way. Appropriate for all seasons of the year, nothing beats rhythm games for summer fun.