Kids will get a big kick out of helping make homemade musical instruments. There are many things around your house or classroom that you can use to make the instruments. Here are a few ideas:
Fill a cookie tin with rice, beans or small pebbles. Glue the lid onto the can and cover the entire can, but not the lid, with fabric. Make drum sticks from chopsticks or pieces of tree limbs. Use a strap for the child to hang the drum around his neck. The strap can be hot glued to the sides of the drum. Eliminate the beans or pebbles on the inside for a drum with a different sound altogether. A dry oats canister makes a great drum, too. Let children decorate it with yarn, sequins or paint. Another drum can be made by stretching layers of cling wrap over a tin can that has smooth edges. Use a rubber band to secure the plastic wrap. The child can fill the can with beads or bells, then tap the plastic wrap to produce the music.
Fill a 20 oz soda bottle a third full of sand or small pebbles. The kids can shake them like maracas.
Make chimes by hanging metal washers on strings, from a ruler or stick. Tie the washers onto the twine then wrap the string around the ruler. Give the child a large spoon with which to strike the washers. Different size washers make different sounds. Let one child clang two metal spoons together and another, wooden spoons.
Make cymbals by using two matching pan lids to clang together.
Place a piece of tissue paper over the teeth of a comb and hum through the paper.
Use empty bath tissue or paper towel rolls to make horns by placing a piece of wax paper over one end. Glue or use a rubber band to hold the wax paper in place. Poke a few holes in the wax paper and blow, hum or sing with the open end pressed around the lips.
Glue two deep jar lids together with bells, beads, beans or dry rice inside. Glue an elastic strap onto one side so the rattler will slip onto the child’s hand. Or put a bunch of old keys on a large key ring for the child to shake. Staple or glue two paper plates or plate holders together with bells inside. Insert a stick for a handle or let them hold the plates and rattle them. Something similar can be done with two pie pans. Fill them with b-b’s or marbles then tape or staple the pans together, handle inserted. Kids can also toss some marbles into a small cardboard box and shake.
Remove the lid from a shoebox and place rubber bands all the way around the box. Kids can strum the rubber bands for a sound similar to a guitar. Make a handle for the guitar by cutting a hole in one end of the box and gluing a stick inside the hole.
String yarn through a paper towel or bath tissue roll and then through a number of bells. Tie the cord ends together and simply shake the roll to make music.