Easy-to-Make Homemade Instruments for Kids

Inspire creativity and have fun with these sweet-sounding crafts

Easy to make homemade musical instruments
A great way to encourage your preschooler's creativity is to make homemade musical instruments. Need a drum stick? A wooden spoon works great!. David Toase

Preschoolers love to be loud, don't they? It's the nature of their age. But they also love to be creative and find new uses for old things. (If you've ever seen a preschooler play with a cardboard box for hours, you know what I mean.) Combine all that noise and their budding imaginations by crafting some easy-to-make homemade instruments together. Using items found both inside and outside your house, you'll soon have your own band, and be well on your way to a harmonious afternoon!

Comb Harmonicas

What you need

  • One or an assortment of clean combs in different colors
  • Sheets of wax paper

Directions: It doesn't get much easier than this! Fold the wax paper over the teeth of the comb, with an equal amount of paper on either side. Make sure the wax side of the paper faces away from you. Hold the comb so the teeth face up and hum through the paper.

Easter Egg Maracas

What you need

  • Plastic Easter eggs
  • Tape
  • Small rocks or dried beans

Directions: Got a bunch of leftover plastic Easter eggs you don't know what to do with? Have your preschooler collect small rocks from outside. Put them inside the eggs, sealing it shut with tape. Shake away! If you don't have any eggs to use, you can also make this craft using two paper plates. Lay one plate flat on the table. Put a small handful of rocks in the center. Place the other plate on top, so you make a pocket in the center. Staple the edges all around the circumference of the plate together.

If you like, poke a whole in the top and thread with yarn.

Sandpaper Rubbing Blocks

What you need

  • Two wooden blocks of equal size that will fit well in your preschooler's hand(erasers work well too)
  • Sheets of fine-grit sandpaper
  • Glue
  • Large thumbtacks

Directions: Cut the sandpaper to the size of the block or eraser and then glue it to one side of the block so that the grit is facing outward.

Place the large thumbtack on the opposite side of the block, in the center so it acts as a knob. If your block is thick enough, you can also place a screw or glue a wooden knob here as well. Have your preschooler rub the blocks together.

Container Drum

What you need

  • Empty and clean oatmeal or potato chip cylinder container
  • Two pencils or wooden spoons
  • Construction paper
  • Rubber bands
  • Something to serve as the skin of the drum -- fabric, aluminum foil, paper -- play around with materials for different sounds
  • Glue
  • Crayons or markers

Directions: Cut off the top end of the cylinder with a sharp scissor. Decorate the empty cylinder by gluing the construction paper to the outside and letting your preschooler color it with the crayons and the markers. Cover the open end of the cylinder with your material, overlapping it over the opening and then securing with rubber bands. Use pencils or wooden spoons as drumsticks.

Metal Chimes

What you need

  • Metal washers in different sizes (please be aware that small pieces like this can be a choking hazard)
  • Ruler
  • String or colorful yarn
  • Metal spoon
  • Tape
  • Paint (optional)

Directions: If you choose, paint the washers and let dry. Cut varying lengths of yarn and then tie it to the ruler in different places.

Keep in place with tape. Tie the washers to the other end of the yarn. Make music by hitting the washers with the spoon.

Shoebox Guitar

What you need

  • Empty shoe box
  • Rubber bands
  • Glue

Directions: Cut a hole in the lid of the shoe box. Place the lid back on the box, gluing it in place. One dry, stretch rubber bands across the length of the box. Have your preschooler strum the rubber bands across the open hole.

Paper Towel Roll Horn

What you need

  • Empty paper towel or toilet paper roll
  • Wax paper
  • Rubber band

Directions: Poke a straight line of holes down the length of your cardboard roll. Cover one end of the roll with wax paper and a rubber band, making sure it is tight.

Have your preschooler sing into the open end, covering various holes with her fingers.

Bean or Rock Shakers

What you need

  • An assortment of dried beans or different sized rocks and pebbles (all cleaned and dried)
  • A clean, empty container that has a top, such as an oatmeal cylinder or a plastic soda bottle
  • Construction paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Glue

Directions: Make sure that both your container and beans or rocks are clean and dried thoroughly. Cover the container with construction paper and glue on. Have your preschooler decorate the paper. (You can draw on the paper first, whichever you like.) Once the paper has dried, place the beans and rocks inside the container. Make sure the container is closed tightly -- use glue if you want a super-tight seal. The glue should be dried before your preschooler plays with it.

Looking for more musical fun? Check out Preschool Music Activities.

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