Elementary Music, Games

How to Play Kaboom! in Elementary Music Class

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When it comes to teaching elementary music, fun is one of the most important words. You want students to love music, and fun is how you get there. When it comes to reading music, it can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Enter: Kaboom!

Kaboom is my students’ favorite elementary music centers game, and it can be used for rhythm, melody, vocabulary, playing instruments, treble clef, and more. 

When it comes to reviewing or practicing, Kaboom is where it is at. 

My general music students especially like to play Kaboom as a music centers game, and it keeps them entertained the whole time. 

If you’re looking for some music centers ideas, you can get free access to the Ultimate List of Music Centers here. It includes ideas for rhythm, melody, composition, instruments, and more– plus it’s free!

Click here to download. 

graphic that says our favorite centers games with an image of an elementary music teacher holding a set of the game Kaboom! for solfege in a blog post about the game kaboom from Becca's Music Room

How to Play Kaboom!

Kaboom is a very simple music centers game. To set up, all you need is Kaboom! Cards in a bucket or box. The cards can be any small card with rhythms, melodies, questions, instruments… pretty much anything on it. 

For simplicity, let’s talk about it as a rhythm music centers game. 

  • Students sit in a circle. 
  • One at a time, students pull a card out of the bucket or box. 
  • Students read the rhythm on the card.
  • If the student gets their card right, they keep it. If it’s wrong, they put it back. 
  • The game continues as students take turns playing.
  • If a student gets a Kaboom!, that student puts ALL of their cards back into the bucket. 
  • The student with the most cards at the end of time is the winner.

As you can see, this game can be done with any concept, just replace rhythm with whatever you are using.

The best part about this game? IT NEVER ENDS. Eventually somebody gets a Kaboom! And has to put their cards back in the bucket– which means more to pull from. 

Shop Kaboom

Also read: How to teach rhythm

Elementary music concepts to use

This general music centers game can be used with any musical concept, including:

  • Reading rhythms
  • Reading melodies
  • Identifying treble clef notes
  • Playing patterns on instruments (recorders, xylophones, pianos)
  • Identifying or playing piano keys
  • Identifying or playing ukulele chords
  • Bass clef
  • Vocabulary
  • Answering music history questions

…literally, the sky is the limit.

Seriously, I use Bible Trivia Kaboom with my students at church on Sunday. It’s versatile and FUN.

You can shop all of these Kaboom sets in my store here.

a graphic that says our favorite rhythm reading game with a picture of an elementary music teacher holding a game of rhythm kaboom for half note for music centers from a blog post by Becca's Music Room

When do we play it?

Kaboom can be played any time, but here’s a few of my favorite instances to make it happen:

  • Centers (my very favorite time to play)
  • Review days
  • End of class
  • When you travel to the students’ classrooms
  • With a sub 
  • After students finish a worksheet or test

Kaboom as an assessment

One of my favorite things to do when the students play is to walk around and listen to them. I only have to hear students read one or two cards to see if they are understanding the concepts we are working on.

As I walk, I make notes on my seating chart to show who has mastered a concept.

And viola! A grade that is way more fun than a test. 

Where do I get it?

You can make your own sets, or you can purchase ready made sets on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. This makes Kaboom so easy– all you need to do is print, laminate, and play.

I have sets for multiple concepts including:

  • Rhythm (everything from quarter and eighth notes all the way to triplets or syncopa)
  • Solfege (again, tiered!)
  • Treble clef
  • Bass clef
  • Recorder
  • Piano
  • Ukulele
  • Instruments of the orchestra

…and the list goes on. 

You can shop Kaboom sets by clicking here.

a graphic that says our favorite music reading game featuring an elementary music teacher holding a set of Kaboom rhythm games with quarter rests from a blog post from Becca's Music Room

I’m curious, have you used Kaboom as an elementary music centers game? How did it go? Send me a message over on Instagram @beccamusicroom and let me know– or tag me in your pictures so I can see how you are using it!

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Happy teaching!


Also read: Les Toreadores 4 Way in Elementary Music

Graphic that says Kabook: Our favorite music reading game (for rhythm or melody) from Becca's Music Room
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