5 fun musical instruments you can make at home for your toddler

Posted on October 3rd, 2018

With a little recycling, you and your little ones can start a family band. By Kirsten Davids

Musical instruments for your toddler

Children assimilate music in much the same way as they do language, so incorporating music into their lives from a young age can be extremely beneficial. Music not only fosters creativity, self-expression and self-esteem, it also encourages movement, rhythm and timing which helps with gross and fine motor development.

READ MORE ON THE BENEFITS OF MUSIC FOR YOUR CHILD HERE.

Introduce your toddler to musical instruments by making your own instruments at home.

Tissue box guitar

This is a perfect starter instrument for your budding musician.

You will need

  • Empty tissue box with top opening
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrush or sponge brushes
  • Foam stickers
  • Rubber bands of varying widths

Method

  1. Paint the box and allow to dry.
  2. Decorate the tissue box using stickers.
  3. Slip the rubber bands onto the tissue box over the opening. Do this one band at a time.

Tissue box guitar

Paper plate tambourine

Have fun painting and decorating. The bells make a lovely sound when the tambourine is shaken or tapped.

You will need

  • Paper plate
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Pencil
  • Paper punch
  • Thin ribbon
  • Bells
  • Cotton balls
  • Glue
  • Clothes pegs
  • Stickers

Method

  1. Paint the underside of the plate.
  2. Once the paint is dry, fold your paper plate in half and use a pencil to mark where you want to punch holes.
  3. Check that both sides of the plate are lined up and punch through at your pencil marks.
  4. Cut pieces of ribbon, thread the bells on and then tie them through the holes. The bells need to be slightly loose to jingle.
  5. Stuff the inside with some cotton balls to make the tambourine soft, plump and easy to hold.
  6. Glue the edges of the plate together and use clothes pegs to hold in place until dry.

Paper plate tambourine

Shakers

Turn up the music and get the kids dancing and shaking to the rhythm.

You will need

  • 2 250ml plastic bottles,labels removed
  • Rice, beans, beads or popcorn seeds
  • 2 toilet roll tubes
  • Scissors
  • Electrical tape
  • Ribbon

Method

  1. Pour 2cm of the filler of your choice into the bottle.
  2. Put on the lid and listen to the sound it makes. If you are happy with the sound, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, add or remove filler.
  3. Fill each shaker with different fillings to get differing sounds before tightening the bottle tops.
  4. To create the handles, cut two toilet rolls from one end to the other. Tighten the roll around the cap of the bottle and wrap with electrical tape, starting at the bottle end. Make sure the tape is on the bottle and the tube and move down. Be sure to cover all the cardboard to create a sturdy handle.

Shakers

Drums

Everyone loves a drum and the best is these don’t make a lot of loud noise.

You will need

  • Tins, cleaned with labelremoved (make sure there are no sharp edges)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush or sponge brushes
  • Balloons
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands or ribbon
  • Chopsticks

Method

  1. Paint and decorate your tins.
  2. Cut off the open end of a balloon and leave the bulb intact.
  3. Stretch the bulb over the top of a tin and use a rubber band or ribbon to secure.
  4. Use chopsticks, pencils, your fingers or baby’s hands to get drumming.

Drums

Castanets

Simple items like these can be used to make music. It will also help strengthen your little one’s fingers

You will need

  • Thick cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Bottle caps
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Craft glue
  • Clothes pegs

Method

  1. Cut two strips of cardboard about 13cm x 4cm. Decorate as you would like or you can decorate once complete.
  2. Fold the cardboard strips in half.
  3. Place glue on the jagged edge of the bottle cap and glue on the inside of the folded cardboard.
    If the cardboard is very thick you can press the bottle cap into the cardboard for a better grip.
  4. Use a peg to hold the cap in place until dry.
  5. Glue the second bottle cap on the other end of the cardboard strip, making sure it is aligned with the first bottle cap. They must click together when you’re done.
  6. Let the glue dry.
  7. Decorate them if you haven’t already.
  8. Now is the time to have loads of clicking fun.

Castanets