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Musical instruments that you can make at home for your kids

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Kids & Teens

Remember the time when we were kids. We loved to play music with our friends and the musical instruments were anything like pot, pan, stick or whatever we found at hand. With time many things have surely changed but still children love making music. So, for all those parents who have musician children, here is a bit of suggestion. If you want that your children play with some kind of sophisticated musical instruments but do not want to spend too much money, try to be creative and make musical instruments at home.

The musical instruments that you can make at home are:

1)    Tambourine: To make this instrument you will need the following.

a) 2 paper plates

b) Stapler or glue
c) Hole punch
d) String
e) Jingle bells
f) Crayons (optional)

How to make: To make this instrument first you have to staple or glue two paper plates together, in such a way that they face each other. Now by using a hole punch, make holes around the plates and then tie jingle bells to the holes with string. If you want you can decorate the tambourine with crayons, so that it looks attractive to your children. Just shake the instrument for playing it. Remember two things while making it. First, it is better to use heavy paper plates for making this instrument and secondly if you are using a stapler, then be careful that you children do not come to help you. After you finish attaching the papers, cover the staples with scotch tape.

2) Bean Shakers: To make this musical instrument you will need the following items.

a) A soda bottle the size of which can be small, medium or large

b) Dried peas, beans or lentils

c) Superglue

How to make: First cut out the bottle and then let it dry thoroughly. After it is dried then fill it about 1/8 to 1/4 full with the peas, beans or lentils. Now put superglue around the threads of the bottle opening and immediately put the lid and tightly close it. Now wait for the glue to dry before your child starts to play with the shaker.

 3) Cork Drumsticks: To make the cork drumsticks the things that you need are

a) 2 pieces of cylindrical cork, about 1 1/2 inches long

b) 2 wooden or bamboo chopsticks

c) Glue

How to make: Start making a hole in the center of one side of each cork with a sharp pencil. Complete the making of the hole with one of the chopsticks. Now put small amount of glue inside the hole and insert the chopsticks and let it dry for sometime. Now your instrument is ready for use.

4) Comb Harmonica: The things that are needed for making this instrument are:

a) A clean comb

b) Thin paper

How to make: First wrap the paper around the teeth of the comb. Now your harmonica is ready. Place it against your lips and hum to play.

5) Drum: For making this instrument the things that you need are:

a) Cylindrical oatmeal container or Pringles container

b) Rubber bands or duct tape

c) Fabric, it can be either faux or real leather or vinyl

How to make: First remove the lid of the container and throw it away. Now cut the fabric in such a way so that it fits over the container and even overlap the edges by 1 1/2 inches. After covering the container, secure the fabric tightly by using either rubber bands or the duct tape.

6) Kazoo: The things that you require are:

a) Waxed Paper

b) Paper towel tube

c) Rubber bands

How to make: Cut the waxed paper in such a way so that it fits over one end of the paper towel tube. Secure the paper by using rubber bands and then make some holes in the paper. Now hum into the other end, which is not covered so that the music is made.

7) Chimes: For making this you will require the following:

a) Ruler or stick
b) Washers
c) Nail polish
d) String
e) Mixing spoon

How to make: For making this first you have to hang the washers from the ruler or stick with pieces of string by wrapping the string around the ruler or stick thus securing it. Now you can strike the washers with the mixing spoon to make music. If you want you can paint the washers with nail polishes so that it looks good.

8) Horn: For this you will require

a) Paper towel roll
b) Waxed paper
c) Rubber band
d) Pen

How to make: For this you have to cover one end of the paper towel roll with waxed paper, and make it tight with the help of a rubber band. Now make some holes along one side of the role with a pen. Now sing a tune into the open end of the horn.

9) Xylophone: The things required are:

a) Tall glasses or jars
b) Water
c) Mixing spoon

How to make: For this you have to fill the glasses or jars with different volume of water. Remember if you have more water in the glass, you will get lower pitch.
Now for playing, gently strike the glasses with a mixing spoon. But remember, older children should be allowed for playing this instrument because you are using glass.

10) Guitar

a) Empty shoe box
b) Rubber bands
c) Ruler or stick

How to make: The foremost thing is to remove the cover from the box. Now stretch the rubber bands around the box. After this attach the ruler or stick to the back of the box on one end so that it becomes the arm of the guitar. When you start playing strum or pluck the rubber bands.

Now, all the musicians have one instrument to play. Let them form the band and you enjoy their performance.