Drum Role Play


  • Play drums or homemade improvisations such as pots or cardboard boxes with wooden spoons

Prep Time:

  • 5 minutes

Recipe for Fun!

Play a simple rhythm and have the child repeat that same rhythm. Gradually increase the challenge with longer, more complex rhythms. Then switch roles and have the child play a rhythm for you to repeat. Or sing a familiar song while you both tap to the beat.


  • Develops listening skills as children keep the beat of a song using the drums.
  • Strengthens manual skills needed for writing, especially when using drumsticks (or holding wooden spoons).
  • Encourages vocalizations and verbalizations as children make a sound they are working on in speech therapy or sing a familiar song as they play.
  • Encourages communication and expression without the requirement of words.


  • For children who have trouble holding the sticks, have them use their hands directly on the drums.


  • Beat to the rhythm of the song to help kids learn to listen (receptive language). Sing along with the song to encourage verbalization (expressive language).
  • Have children play the drums to represent how they feel. This is one way for a child to communicate feelings he may not be able to verbally explain.
  • Have children follow your directions, such as, “Beat loud,” “Tap softly,” “Play fast,” “Go slow.” This will help them learn concepts and opposites as well as follow directions.
  • Have children say their name while tapping the syllables on the drum. This can also be done with weekly spelling words.
  • Have two children sit together and take turns playing a rhythm. This kind of turn taking introduces the idea of conversations: listening (receptive language) and replying (expressive language).