Start up your family band by crafting some awesome homemade musical instruments. Kids will have a blast banging on tin can drums, shaking DIY maracas and more. Keep reading to get the dance party started.
1. Chicken in a Cup
For an outside-the-box take on a musical instrument, you’ve got to try this “chicken in a cup” from All for the Boys. It’s super easy to put together using household items, and kids will get a kick out of the squeaky sound it makes. Click here to get the instructions (including a video, so you can hear what it sounds like).
Check out Twodaloo’s take on a traditional Australian instrument, the didgeridoo. Using a cardboard tube and some paint and decorations, it’ll be a fun project to fill up an afternoon. To learn more, click here.
3. Tin Can Drums
Keep it simple (but still super fun) with this sweet idea from Red Ted Art. Kids can paint the “drums” however they want, then they’ll have a blast discovering the different sounds they can make with kitchen utensils. To get all the details, click here.
4. Backyard Concerts
Banging on a pot with a wooden spoon is practically a rite of passage in babyhood. Why not take it a step further and construct an outdoor music wall for your kids like this one from PreK + K Sharing? Scour your house for any seldom used odds and ends that make a fun sound (or hit up your favorite thrift store), then use a hammer and nails to secure to a section of fencing. Click here for the details.
5. Easter Egg Maracas
Shake to the sound of rice with these easy-peasy maracas. All you need is rice, plastic spoons, easter eggs, and tape! Best part? These shakers have been tried and tested by lifestyle blogger and mom of three, Katelyn Fagan of What’s Up Fagans, and they are certified to play at a decent volume without being too annoying. Get the tutorial here.
6. PVC Pipe Flutes
This whistling instrument isn’t a project for the kids but if mom or dad is up for some more intense DIY action (or stopping by Home Depot for their drilling services), the results are just as amazing as the real thing. Your musician will be able to play a musical scale. Download the instructions here.
Explore sound and science with creative kids blog Buggy and Buddy’s homemade kazoo. With simple materials that you’re bound to have at home (cardboard tube, wax paper, rubber band, etc), this kazoo is perfect for vocal tots who love to spend their days humming and singing. See how to re-create this activity by heading over to Buggy and Buddy.
8. Shoebox Guitar
Did you know empty containers hold a secret melody? All you need are some rubber bands, a shoebox and split pins; then your quick-fingered tot can get their twang on. For the key to perfect, magical sound, check out Kate’s tutorial over at craft blog Minieco.
9. Mini Mandolin
With a little more time and effort, your wooden mandolin is set to last much longer than your musician’s first gig. The community blog for moms and moms-to-be Hello Bee has an awesome tutorial on making a mandolin that’s worthy of being part of a kid-sized Philharmonic. Visit Hello Bee for instructions, and get ready to make a trip to the craft store after.
10. Pin Strummers
Strum up a tune with bobby pins. This experiment and discovery project by kids app makers Pi'ikea Street explores how different sounds can become just by changing one object. See how simple household products can be turned into musical instruments over at Pi'ikea Street.
11. Easy Harmonica
This paper harmonica from family blog Housing a Forest requires a little finesse from your lil' performer’s mouth (don’t bite down) and a little extra practice, but the whole process is ridiculously and musically fun. To get the instructions, click here.
12. Bell Shakers
Ring in a merry afternoon with these bell shakers. This tutorial from craft blog Hello Bee requires some drilling, but the modern look and long-lasting build are worth it. Now your littlest can join the family band with just a wriggle of the wrist! Check out the how-to here.
13. Jingle Ankle Bracelet
Get those flighty feet ready for any dance with a pair of beautiful jingle ankle bracelets from craft and design blog Minieco. Now any dancer who wants to move to their own tune can! Head over to Minieco and get ringing with the tutorial.
14. Outdoor Music Wall
Banging on a pot with a wooden spoon is just not going to cut it anymore. Why not take it a step further and construct an outdoor music wall like the one PreK + K Sharing created? Scour your house for any seldom used odds and ends that make a fun sound (or hit up your favorite thrift store), then use a hammer and nails to secure to a section of fencing. Find out more here.
What’s your music maker’s favorite way to get her jam on? Let us know in the comments below!
— Christal Yuen
Feature photo: Jessica Wilson via Flickr