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Musical Instruments for Kids to Make

I am a big believer in child-led activities. So when my kids saw Curious George make instruments out of recyclables, they were eager to do the same. Of course, I jumped at the chance. We spent the entire afternoon painting, dreaming, and making a whole band’s worth of instruments. Best of all, they have been holding “secret” jam sessions to surprise me on Valentine’s Day with my very own concert.

Here’s how you can make your own musical instruments:

So fun! Great tutorial on how to make rainsticks, guitars, tambourines and drums using recycled materials you probably have at home


Materials Used:
– Long Cardboard Tube (we used a paper towel roll)
– Nails
– Child-Safe Washable Paint
– Dried Beans and/or Rice
Craft Vinyl or Duck Tape

My son, Parker loved pounding in the nails (with help from his papa), Matilda (my 2 year old) painted it red, and they both carefully placed stickers over the nail heads. I added dried beans and rice to the inside and covered both ends with some craft vinyl I had on hand, you could also use duck tape.


Materials Used:

Embroidery Hoops (large for guitar, smaller size for the tambourine we used a 10 in & 5 in)
Thick Rubber Bands
Craft Paint

I had seen this idea on HelloBee a couple years ago and have been wanting to try it ever since. But, I have to give Parker (my 4 year old) the credit for the idea of adding bells to make the tambourine. For that, I cut the rubber bands, had Parker string on the bells, and then tied them back together.

Note: If your kids are little and you are worried about them putting these instruments in their mouths, make sure to use non-toxic paint. The link provided above should return results for craft paint that is non-toxic, but please be sure to double check!


Materials Used:

– Recycled Oatmeal Container
Craft Vinyl
– Stickers!
– Balloon

Haven’t we all made a drum from an old oat canister?! I covered our canister with craft vinyl and had the kids add stickers to decorate. You should have seen the time my 4 year old put into deciding where each one went. For the drumhead, I cut the bottom off of a balloon and stretched it over the open end of the oat bin.

Watching my children work together to plan and invent new instruments, test them out, and show pride in what we created together is the best Valentine’s Day present I could ever ask for.

everything you need to make your own musical instruments for kids, lots of recyclables

All you need is a cardboard tool, some nails and a few more ingredients to make your own rainstick! This tutorial will show you how

Let grownups help you put the nails in when making your own rainsticks!

Kids love to paint and help decorate with stickers

Fun tutorial on how to make rainsticks and guitars with kids

Love this! I never would have thought to make a guitar out of an embroidery hoop, you have to see the other instruments she makes too!

This is the smartest way to make a homemade drum! Never would have thought of this

Never would have guessed how she made this! Best homemade drum for kids I've ever seen


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This is Kelly’s first post here on Kids Stuff World and we’re so happy to have her! Stop by her site, Cloudy Day Gray for oodles more fun and inspiration.

Kelly Smith

I am Kelly. My husband is Tyler. We have had a few cloudy days, but our life is anything but gray.

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