Easy to Make Musical Instruments for Kids

by Amanda Formaro


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Children love music as much as they enjoy making things. Why not join these two creative forces and make one or all of these fun and easy musical instruments to encourage play and creativity.

DECORATIVE ITEMS

For any of these activities, you can leave the items plain or decorate them. If you need ideas for decorating these projects, try any of the following items. We are sure this list will help you think of even more items you can use. Combine different things such as buttons and glitter or sequins and yarn. Let the children's creativity surprise you!

Keeping items such as these in a large plastic storage container makes for easy access and quick clean up.

  • sequins

  • buttons

  • yarn

  • ribbon

  • masking tape

  • beads

  • glitter

  • sand

  • cellophane

  • construction paper

  • magazines

  • photos

  • crayons

  • markers

  • colored pencils

  • paint

  • nail polish

When you are finished constructing your instruments, have a camera ready to take a picture of the band. Record this activity in your child's scrapbook so you can look back in years to come.

TAMBOURINE

  • 2 paper plates

  • stapler or glue

  • hole punch

  • string

  • jingle bells

  • crayons

Staple or glue two paper plates together, facing each other. Using a hole punch, make holes around the plates and tie jingle bells to the holes with string. Decorate the tambourine with crayons.

Shake to play.

Note: Heavy duty paper plates may be more durable for this craft.

Safety note: If using a stapler, an adult should do this. When finished be sure to cover the staples with scotch tape.

DRUM

  • empty oatmeal box with cover

  • yarn

  • pen

  • 2 pencils

  • 2 spools

  • construction paper

  • crayons

Before beginning, you can decorate the oatmeal box with construction paper and/or crayons for a colorful effect.

Place the cover on the box. Use a pen to make a hole in the center of the cover and in the center of the bottom of the box. Through these holes, pull a piece of yarn long enough to hang around child's neck and down to their waist.

For the drumsticks, place the spools at the ends of the pencils, secure with glue if necessary.

Beat to play.

CHIMES

  • ruler or stick

  • washers

  • nail polish

  • string

  • mixing spoon

Hang the washers from the ruler or stick with pieces of string by wrapping the string around the ruler or stick and securing. Strike the washers with the mixing spoon to play.

Note: You can make this craft colorful by painting the washers first with different color nail polishes, such as red, gold, glittery, etc. Parents should supervise this part of the activity closely.

HORN

  • paper towel roll

  • waxed paper

  • rubber band

  • pen

Cover one end of the paper towel roll with waxed paper, secure it with a rubber band. Punch a row of holes along one side of the roll with the tip of a pen.

To play, sing a tune into the open end of the horn.

CYMBALS

  • two matching pot covers

  • yarn or ribbon

Tie the ribbon or yarn around the handles of the pot covers. To play, strike together.

XYLOPHONE

  • tall glasses or jars

  • water

  • mixing spoon

Fill the glasses or jars with different amounts of water. The more water in the glass, the lower the pitch will be. Having less water in the glass or jar will raise the pitch.

To play, gently strike the glasses with a mixing spoon.

Note: This instrument should probably be played by older children in "the band" because of the use of glass.

COMB BUZZER

  • pocket comb

  • tissue paper>

Fold a piece of tissue paper over the tooth edge of a comb. To play, hum through the tissue paper.

GUITAR

  • empty shoe box

  • rubber bands

  • ruler or stick

Remove the cover from the box. Stretch the rubber bands around the box. Attach the ruler or stick to the back of the box on one end to act as the arm of the guitar.

To play, strum or pluck the rubber bands.

HAND BELLS

  • 2 paper towel rolls

  • hole punch

  • 4 jingle bells

  • string or yarn

Punch a hole in each end of the paper towel rolls. Tie two jingle bells to each side of the paper towel rolls by running string or yarn through the holes and carefully tying off.

Shake to play.

Have fun and let creativity and imagination run wild! Record the band's first song and play back for some great giggle time. Enjoy!


Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children. She and her husband live in southern Nevada. She is also the owner of FamilyCorner.com Magazine. Subscribe to her free weekly kid's craft newsletter, Busy Little Hands, by sending any email message to kidscrafts-on@mail-list.com or by visiting her website at http://familycorner.com copyright 2000 Amanda Formaro

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