Three activities kids enjoy the most are making noise, art and spending time with a parent. One way you can incorporate all three activities into one is by making musical instruments at home. Besides the obvious benefits of keeping the kids occupied and happy, you will be helping them develop greater small motor skills, develop creativity and improve hand-eye coordination.
You don’t need anything fancy. In fact, you probably have most of the materials already if you keep art material on hand. In each of the activities below, your child will be able to do most of the assembly. Adult help with the hot glue gun and stapler will be necessary, but other than that, helping will be based on the age and skill of each child. Let’s get ready to have some fun!
A drum is one of the easiest instruments to make. For this project, you will need:
*Round container such as oatmeal or formula or a cleaned paint can
*At least two colors of paint/paintbrush
*Glitter, stickers, etc. if you want more decoration
Make sure the lid is securely fastened to the container and then allow your child to paint and decorate the container. He can use either a wooden spoon or his hands to drum on it when it is done. Show him how it makes different sounds depending on whether it is hit on the edge or center.
A guitar is one of the most popular instruments. When making musical instruments at home, all you need to fashion a guitar is:
*Rubber bands (4-5)
Remove the top from the shoebox as you won’t need it. Have your child decorate the box. When it is dry, stretch the rubber bands around the box lengthwise. Glue the ruler to the bottom of the box to make the arm of the guitar.
A pan flute is less common than most other instruments and can be played by humming into it. To make one, you will need:
Start by cutting one inch of the first straw, two off the second, and so on. Have your child start with the longest straw on her left. Using a thin line of glue, glue the next longest straw on the right and continue, with the straws getting smaller. Once all the straws are connected, wrap two pieces of ribbon around the straws near the even end and glue in place. Let dry.
Legend has it that the rainstick was invented in Chili to invite rain. When making musical instruments at home, you may not want to make it rain but even the smallest children can easily make this. You will need:
*Paper towel roll
*Two circles of construction paper slightly larger than tube openings
*Two tablespoons of rice
Paint the paper towel roll and allow to dry. If you want more decorations, put them on and then glue one of the construction paper circles to one end of the tube. Fill the tube with rice and glue the second paper circle over the open end. Let the glue dry.
The tambourine takes more skill than the other crafts, but it is worth the time. You will need:
*Two paper plates
*Paint, stickers, glitter, etc. for decoration
*A hole punch
Decorate the bottom of both plates. Place them with tops facing and punch holes about every two inches. Thread twistie ties through the bells and then through the holes in both plates.
Have the little ones give a concert!