Making instruments at home is not only a great way to save money on “real” instruments, which are quite expensive, but it’s also a fun, engaging craft activity for your kids. There are dozens of different makeshift instruments you can create including tambourines, maracas, xylophones, various kinds of drums, and more. Here are several to make with your kids!
Paper Plate Tambourine
Materials needed: 2 paper plates (thicker plates are better), glue or stapler, hole punch, string, jingle bells, crayons or pens
Process: Turn the plates to face each other and glue or staple them together. Use the hole punch to make holes around the plates and tie jingle bells to the holes with string. Decorate with crayons or pens. Shake to play!
Toilet Paper Roll Maracas
Materials needed: Toilet paper rolls, duct tape, paint and paintbrushes (or pens), rice, hot glue gun and glue sticks, scissors
Process: Cover the end of the toilet paper roll with duct tape. Fill the roll halfway with rice (you can pour rice into a bowl and scoop it up with the roll). Then, cover the other end with duct tape. Take another toilet paper roll and slit it all the way down one side and wrap it around the roll filled with rice. Glue the outer roll around the maraca. Then, decorate the maraca as you wish!
Water Glass Xylophone
Materials needed: Tall glasses or jars, spoon, water, food coloring
Process: Fill the glasses with different amounts of water. The more water is in the glass, the lower the pitch will be; less water means a higher pitch. To play, gently hit the glasses with a mixing spoon or other type of spoon (or utensil). For added fun, consider adding different color food coloring to the glasses! This may be better for older children as there is glass involved.
Coffee Can Drums
Materials needed: Old coffee cans, balloons, scissors, packing tape
Process: Cut the nozzle off the balloon. Stretch the balloons over the can. You can add more than one balloon to make them more durable. And, to make them look more fun, use two different colors of balloons and cut holes in the top balloon layer. Tape the balloons down, then let your kids have at them!
Den Den Drums
Materials needed: Wooden spoons, thread or string, beads, drill, paint or pens or stickers
Process: Drill two small holes about one centimeter apart in the center of the head of the spoon. Thread the string through one of the holes and tie a knot to keep it from slipping back through the hole. Thread the beads on to the string and tie a knot to secure them in place. Cut off any extra string. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the other side of the spoon.