I came up with a board game that is a more advanced, musical version of a childhood favorite - Candyland!
I divided the room into two halves, using the aisle as the diving line. One side was the Blue team, the other side the Green team.
Object of the game
Move their board piece from start to "home," where they could be with their family. Children did this by selecting "Choose the Right" cards to tell them how many steps they could move forward - or backward. I attached velcro stickers to each space on the board and to the game pieces so that I could put the board up on the wall for everyone to see.
Choose the Right cards
If the scenario on the card had them making the right choice, they were rewarded by going forward a certain amount of steps. If the scenario on the card had them making a bad choice, they went backward a certain amount of steps.
This is where the music part came into the game:
1. If children chose the right "choose the right" card, they were told they could draw a music card, too.
2. If children landed on certain parts of the board, they were told they could draw a music card.
Music cards were an opportunity for children to move several steps forward in the game. Most of the music cards involved singing a verse of the song. I wanted to force them to think about the song and sing it really well so most of the cards had them counting how many times they sang a certain word in the song. Those were the amount of steps they could move forward.
This game worked great because the children were really singing the songs well and participating heavily because they were so interested in gaining points to move forward. The game worked really well in that the two teams kept getting way ahead of each other, only to have the other team catch up. It was very competitive. I did have to remind the children to be more reverent, as there was a lot of loud cheering or loud groaning depending on what card was drawn.
I used the "Helping Hands" can to make sure children had fair opportunities to come up and take their turns, too. I did have a new sunbeam prostrate himself right in front of me because he wanted another turn but at least he wasn't yelling. He did something similar the following week because we wouldn't sing "Happy Birthday" to him (it wasn't his birthday this month), ha. I let the children come up and move their game pieces themselves too.
I had a lot of fun, and more importantly, I felt it made the children feel excited to sing. I had some of my best participation ever, even with some of the older boys that don't like to sing.