To introduce note values to my students I use graham crackers, chocolate chips and marshmallows. The grahams are already conveniently divided into 4 sections. Each rectangle represents one beat. Then we add the chocolate chips and pretzels to make quarter notes on one cracker or marshmallows & pretzels to make half notes on 2 crackers. This helps kids visualize that half notes are bigger and therefore longer. Once they have successfully "clapped" the rhythm on their crackers, then they get to eat them.