Music Fun!

Do-it-yourself Music and Musical Instruments

Music is a fun activity to share with family and friends. Best of all, a musical instrument doesn’t have to be sophisticated to be fun and educational. Below are some classic ideas for children ages 3-12 for constructing do-it-yourself instruments, the youngest children supervised by responsible adults.

  • Liquid xylophone: Fill some see-through bottles or glasses with water at increasing levels. Yes! You can colour the water too! Play this liquid xylophone by clicking it gently with a spoon and listening for different notes.
  • Shoe box guitar: cut around hole in a shoebox. Strap different size elastics around the box and gently strum.
  • Hand clappers: Have the child trace his hands on a piece of cardboard. Cut them out and decorate. Then glue the round end of juice cans, one to each hand. Tape a popsicle stick securely to the bottom of each hand.
  • Maracas: Fill small potato chip canisters with rice, beans, or smooth stones. Secure the end tightly with strong tape. Draw an animal face on flat ends and decorate with feathers, etc. Notice how different size materials make different sounding maracas.
  • Finger-bells: Sew different size bells (from a crafts shop) onto the ends of children’s size gloves, each size corresponding to a finger or thumb. Note: small bells can be a choking hazard for small children 3 years and under.
  • Ice Cream Drum: Clean out small cardboard ice cream containers, and cover with strong craft paper. Decorate then bang away!

Additional Resources


Simple Folk Instruments to Make and to Play by Ilene Hunter and Marilyn Judson.  Review here at books


eHow Video series.  Annie Brunson will show you how to make a variety of musical instruments (around 15 instruments) using everyday items around the house.

Making musical instruments for kids from TLC Channel.

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