Rhythm Blocks

Last month I posted about rhythm and solfa blocks.  I used both wood and foam blocks for those and I mentioned that I found the foam blocks at my local Dollar Tree.  I STOCKED up BIG time on these.  (Truth be told, I bought out our local store and the ones in two neighboring towns!  Embarrassing, I know!).  They came in a combination of 4 colors: blue, red, orange and green.  I knew that I wanted to make rhythm blocks with these and that I wanted to be able to create multiple sets of these, based on rhythmic concepts.  
  1. With the blue blocks I created a ta, ti-ti and ta rest set.   Each of these rhythmic elements were duplicated on each block as there are 6 sides to the block and 3 rhythmic elements.  
  2. With the orange set I made a ta, ti-ti, ta rest and tika-tika set.  Again, some of the sides duplicated a rhythmic element.  
  3. With the red I made a ta, ti-ti, ta rest, tika-tika and ti-tika set.  
  4. Finally with the green blocks I made a ta, ti-ti, ta rest, tika-tika, ti-tika and tika-ti set.  (I sound obsessive huh?  Um, yeah. . . that's me!)

The blue blocks are the simplest rhythm elements and will be used with my 1st graders.  The other sets will be used in third as they learn sixteenth notes and sixteenth/eighth note combinations.  (I know some teachers teach tika-tika in second grade.  I build the tika-tika song repertoire in 2nd grade but don't present it until third grade.  I view tika-tika, ti-tika & tika-ti as a "rhythmic family" and in my opinion the song material is age appropriate for 3rd grade.)

I plan on using the blocks for writing known, unknown and original patterns.  This will include rhythmic patterns of known songs, clapped or performed rhythmic patterns by the teacher or another student and patterns that students will create/compose.  The blocks can also be used to create rhythmic ostinatos for known songs (using 4 blocks for these patterns).  They will also provide both formal and informal assessments.  Really, the instructional purposes and possiblities are endless.  

Here are some examples, using the tika-ti blocks:

"Hogs in the Cornfield" rhythm:

"Hogs in the Cornfield" notation and game:

"Deedle Deedle Dumpling" rhythm"

"Deedle Deedle Dumpling" notation.  The game is in a previous post, you can find it by clicking here.

"Musette" by Bach rhythm:  This was also in a previous post that you can view by clicking here.


  1. You are amazing. I hate it when I have an idea but don't know how to put it in action. You did that for me and I thank you sooooooo very much. I can use this in my centers.

    1. Awe, thank you!! :) Glad I could help! Let me know how it works in your centers :)

  2. Hi Amy! Where did you get these blocks? I'd like to buy some for our chapter make and take.

    1. Hi Aileen!

      At the Dollar Tree, right before school started, they had packs of 50 "math cubes" that came in 4 colors: red, green, blue & orange. I wiped out all 3 local stores, lol! So, I color coded them: blue has ta, ti-ti & quarter rest; red has ta, ti-ti, rest & tika-tika; orange has those plus ti-tika and green has ta, ti-ti, rest, tika-tika, ti-tika and tika-ti. I wish I could say they have them now but they don't. We were going to use them for the ROCKE make-n-take at the state music conference but they can't even special order them. You can find them online but they are a lot more exspensive. I would suggest hitting the Dollar Tree next August to see if you can find them then and doing them next year. They were really cheap (time consuming) but cheap!


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