I recently e-published a set of rhythm instrument icon cards with lesson plans which has been very successful with grades K-4. If you're looking for some educational, engaging and easy ways to explore and create with rhythm instruments, please check this product out:
This instructional unit (six lesson plans and 17 pages of high-quality printables) is based on many years of experimenting and discovering how to help children understand and develop early rhythm reading and playing skills. As some of you may have also discovered, the technique of using/combining one-beat rhythm cards is very effective. I've combined this technique with icons for the different timbres of non-tuned percussion groups, and the results are delightful! Experiment with these ideas yourself, or save a lot of prep time with this ready-to-go RHYTHM BAND MUSI-KIT. (30 hours of work for $6? What a bargain!)
Also, I have created (and continue to compile) a PLAYLIST of rhythmic music appropriate for play-alongs in Spotify. If you use Spotify, you can access this list (free). Here's the link: Rhythmic Pieces for Movement or Play-Alongs
As I was searching for some new and interesting recorded music for children to play rhythm instruments with, I came across this resource in Google Books:
You'll find some practical and fun ideas here. About 1/3 of the book is accesable online, and the e-book is $10 through Google Books.
For very young students, I also recommend a few of Hap Palmer's pieces from his album Rhythms on Parade. You can audit and download selections online or order the CD for around $14. Here's a link to his Web page where he shares the lyrics to his songs and some activity suggestions: http://www.happalmer.com/files/Lyrics%20Rhythms%20on%20Parade.html
Do you have a favorite rhythm band resource others might like to know about? If so, please leave a comment : )