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DIY musical instruments for kids

Music can be great for kids.

In addition to the enjoyment we as adults get from the musical arts, it can be an amazing tool for kids as well. There have been numerous studies connecting a child’s linguistic and mathematical skills and development with learning how to read music and play an instrument.

Oh course, with the youngest of children you can’t just drive right into the more technical elements. So, how can we get kids interested? One way is to help them to make their own “instruments” to play.

Here are three simple examples that can be made in literally a few minutes with basic household items.


Take a moderately thick paper plate and fold it in half. Get some beans from your pantry (or if you’re not a bean person grab a few small rocks from outside) and put them inside the folded plate. Close them in by stapling the place together and there you go.


Save that old coffee can rather than tossing it in the trash. Take an old piece of fabric, perhaps something like a worn out t-shirt or towel, and stretch it out over the opening of the coffee can. You can hold it in place it a rubber band. Kids can use either their hands or virtually any appropriate object around the house to strike the drum.


Don’t throw away that old tissue box. Instead, take a rectangular tissue box and remove the plastic from around the opening. Get yourself the roll from some toilet paper or paper towels.  Cut a hole in one of the short ends of the tissue box big enough to insert the roll. Seal the outside where you inserted the roll with heavy duty tape like duct or masking tape. Put several rubber bands around the box so the go over the open hoe in the center. There you go, instant mini guitar.


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