When it comes to activities that teach your kids the most while also letting them have the most fun, playing with musical instruments is one of the best things you can do together. That is, perhaps, with the exception of actually making playable musical instruments yourselves!
Check out these 15 awesome DIY instruments that your kids will have a blast making and then fall in love with playing afterwards.
1. DIY Shofarot
In case you’ve never heard of one, a traditional shofarot is a horn made from the horn of an animal, like a ram, that’s been hollowed out so you can blow into the end. Of course, you won’t be hollowing out any ram’s horns with your kids, but they’ll love learning about this rare instrument and its unique sound even if their version of the horn is made of toilet paper rolls! Check out how these ones are done on Hearing Shofar.
2. DIY harmonica
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas guides you through the process of making an awesome DIY harmonica! Kids will love learning how to attach the pieces together so that they vibrate and make fun sounds when they blow into one side.
3. DIY straw flute
Your kids might love the whimsical look and sound of the pan flute, but you’re probably not yet ready to let them whittle their own yet. Instead, help them make one from straws cut to different lengths, just like Deceptively Educational did!
4. Funnel and hose French horn
Delightful Learning shows you, step by step, how to make an awesome French horn that both looks and sounds thrillingly like the real thing. Gran a length of plastic hose or thick tubing and a funnel and try decorating it just like the horns you see in parades and concert bands on TV!
5. Bell and shaker rhythm sticks
Skip to My Lou reminds you that, for little kids, sometimes it’s getting to move to the music they’re creating that is the really fun part. Bond over making these noisy treasures with your children and then let them wear them or hold them and shake for all they’re worth!
6. Bottle cap “click clackers”
Are you looking for a way to teach your kids about maracas but you want to make sure they’re really fun? These simple cardboard clickers made with bottle caps by Red Ted Art are a great intro to building rhythm.
7. Coloured rice rhythm shaker
How We Learn shows you how to make an awesome shaker with a unique sound of out very simple household wares that you might even already have. Grab some rice and fill a plastic cup, tape another cup upside down on top of that, and decorate your new shaker however your kids please! We think these dangly ribbons look great when you shake it around.
8. Popsicle stick and paper plate kalimba
There’s nothing better than a DIY project that both makes noise and lets you teach your kids about something new. Maybe they’re familiar with common instruments like drums and guitars, but imagine how excited your kids will be when they find out how fun it is to make and pluck at your own awesome kalimba! Kodaly and Orff Music Teacher’s Blog shows you how to make one just like this.
9. Giant rainbow xylophone
Are you looking to give your kids a bit of novelty along with their music to really keep them playing and learning? Then this giant rainbow xylophone design is the one for you! And Next Comes L shows you how to make one by cutting strips of wood into different lengths so they’ll make different sounds and gluing them to longer angled beams.
10. Bucket and trash can steel drums
Sometimes the kids’ DIY projects that are the most fun are the easiest ones! Help your kids create their own steel drum troupe by gathering old metal trash cans, buckets, wash tubs, and tire hubs. Sugar Aunts has every tip and suggestion you’ll need for this one!
11. Rainbow water xylophone
As long as you’re confident that your kids will to their best to avoid spills, this rainbow water xylophone will hold their attention while they make it, learn about it, and explore how to play it! Besides the fun of dying the water, they’ll love seeing how the different water levels make different sounds. Check it out on Still Playing School.
12. Hair pin strummers
This simple instrument is fun for just about anyone who loves exploring sounds and likes having a way to keep their hands busy even in their spare moments. Check out how Piikea Street made a multi-toned strummer from stretched out bobby pins!
13. Sensory bin shakers
Fun-a-Day suggests an easy, visually appealing instrument for little kids that will stimulate more sense than one- including their sense of curiosity! Just make sure you seal that lid on tight, or you’ll end up with buttons and beads all over the floor.
14. Matchbox guitar
Do you like the idea of the little strummer but you don’t have any spare bobby pins lying around? Grab a match box and some elastic bands of different widths or thicknesses and follow Martha Stewart‘s guide for making a miniature matchbox “guitar” instead!
15. Flower pot bell
Play, Sing, Laugh reminds you that percussion instruments are not only just as important as the rest of the band, but also a total blast for your kids to play. Teach them how to keep time and stay on beat by helping them make a bell from a length of rope and an upside down flower pot!
Time to get both creative and musical!