Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fun with Music - Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors

Welcome to our Fun with Music series! 

Angelique Felix and I have been writing about fun ways to engage our children in music.  Today's topic is Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors. 

Be sure to check out Angelique's post on Musical Outdoor Play at

Kids love crafts-especially the ones that make a lot of noise!  There are a lot of ways to make instruments that make music.  Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not very crafty or talented making things with my hands.  So I like projects that are extremely easy with very few supplies.

My number 1 go-to instrument is the Paper Plate  Tambourine.

Supplies:  Paper plate
                        Pens or crayons

Color the plate any design.

Fold the plate in half and fill it with beans. 
Staple the outside edge of the plate so the beans don't fall out.

Ta-da!  You have a tambourine!

Instrument #2  Water Bottle Shakers

Supplies:  Clean and dry water bottles
Different fillers such as cut up straws, beans, and beads

Fill the bottles.  This is a great fine-motor building activity.  It takes a bit of concentration to get the small objects in the water bottle's small opening.

Finished Water Bottle Shakers.

Instrument #3  Drums

Supplies:  Empty tubs
Wrapping paper

We wrapped the outside of the tubs with the wrapping paper.  If you put the paper on inside out the outside will be white and can be colored any design.

Tap on the lid of the drum for a nice hollow sound.

Instrument #4  The Tin Can

Supplies: Unwrapped tin can with ridges
Metal spoon

Run the spoon up and down the ridges for a wash-board kind of sound.  This instrument is extremely easy but is one of the most popular!  It is amazing that something as plain as a tin can will make such an interesting sound.

After making our instruments, we sang a bunch of songs such as The Alphabet Song, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  The girls enjoyed it so much they kept singing for about an hour even after I went back into the house!

You are probably wondering where the great outdoors is in this post.  Well, we made all our instruments and played our orchestra while outside!  Music doesn't always have to be a solemn occasion while sitting  silently in a chair.  We can take our fun outside and let the whole neighborhood hear! 

We sang while playing our instruments but other times we put on a CD and kept time with children's music and classical music.

I found some wonderful articles about homemade instruments.  My instruments are easy even for those craft-challenged like me.  Take a look at these links, if you would like more ideas:

Be sure to check out play-expert Angelique Felix's posts at

Visit the other Fun with Music articles!


  1. Oh, indeed these look very easy to make! Just my kind of style to with little kids!!!
    This is my post of the week:

    Looking very much froward to our conclusion next week, doing games with music!

    1. Thank you Angelique. I updated your link directly into the post. Looking forward to next week!