Decorate empty ice cream containers which can be obtained from Baskin Robbins to make drums. Use dowels for the drum sticks.

Rain Stick

Simple Rain Stick Supplies needed: empty potato chip cans with lids several plastic 6pack can holders contact paper/construction paper popcorn or dried beans masking tape or colored tape decorative materials; boot laces, raffia, commercially purchased feather, beads, etc

Instructions: Fold plastic 6pack holders lengthwise and insert several into each can. Pour in a handful of popcorn or dried beans, adjust amounts till you find the sounds you like. Seal lid to can. Decorate with wood grain or jungle printed contact paper or with decorated construction paper. Tie cords, leather bootlace, yard, raffia, etc around top. Attach purchased feather and/or beads.


Give each child an ear of dried field corn. Have the children pick the kernels off and place each kernel into an empty plastic drink bottle. When the bottle is a third to a half full, place glue onto the inside of the lid and place the lid onto the bottle. When the glue is dry, the children have a musical shaker bottle. This activity is also great for fine motor skills.

PVC Flute

Materials needed: 1pc. 3/4" PVC pipe (13 1/2 inches long), Dowel rod, 5/8" drill bit, 3/16" drill bit. Measure from top of pipe 1 and 7/8" and drill a 5/8" hole. (Note drill bits need to be very sharp.) From the bottom of the pipe measure 2 and 3/4",3 and 5/8", 4 and 7/16", 5 and 3/4", 6 and 9/16", 7 and 1/2". Make sure that your marks are in a straight line. On these marks, drill 3/16" holes. Insert a piece of hardwood dowel in the top of the pipe about 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches. Play this flute like you would a fife. Simple songs can be played i.e. London Bridge is Falling Down, etc.

Save many plastic soft drink bottles. Have the children paint the outsides of them with brightly colored paint. Fill each one with a different size "rattle object" - beans, rice, pebbles, etc. Screw the lids back on and you have great shaking instruments.

Homemade Maracas: Collect the small Sunny Delight (or similar) plastic drink bottles that children often bring in their lunchboxes. Remove the labels. You can let the children put a small amount of colored aquarium rocks inside each bottle. The children can decorate the bottles using paint or permanent markers. After the children finish, hot glue the lids to close the bottles. They last forever. And, the size is perfect for little hands.


There must be a 1000 ways to use toilet tissue rolls . . . so here is 1001. With a single hole puncher, punch a hole in each end of the toilet tissue roll as far from the openings as possible. (You are creating a little "musical" instrument.) From your collection of small stickers, have the student pick 2 stickers and place one UNDER each of the little holes. ABOVE the hole, have the students make the long vowel sign (-) and on the other, the short vowel sign ) turned side ways. (The top sticker/hole is for the short vowel sounds. The lower for the long vowel sounds.) When I say a word, I ask for a particular beginning vowel sound and watch to see where the children place their fingers. They love this and call it their "Silent Orchestra" as NOTHING is spoken. Prior to the students using them, I put 3 inch clear cellophane tape around the end that is put to their mouths. This keeps the rolls from fraying.


Shakers I took film canisters and filled one with rice and one with beans and one with rocks anything will work. Then tape well with clear mailing tape and put in Music Center. Young ones love because they fit so well in their hands. :)

Tropical Rain stick What you will need: Heavy cardboard mailing tubes/or Paper towel tube Duct tape to seal the tube Nails Hammer Seeds, mall pebbles, rice or dried beans Adhesive-backed shelf paper Wrapping paper or ribbon

How to Concoct it: 1. Hammer nails into the tube 1/8 apart, using the spiral seam of the cardboard. 2. Add several handfuls of assorted filler material (rice, beans, etc) 3. Seal each end of the tube securely with tape. 4. Decorate your Tropical rain stick with ribbon, adhesive-backed shelf paper ,or wrapping paper.

Use your Tropical rain stick to create sound of rain. Shake it, twist it to create a variety of different sounds! Lots of fun!!


I used a needle point hoop, and 5 to 6 large jingle bells (from the craft section). I used bread ties or garbage ties to secure the bells to the hoops. This makes a wonderfully sounding tambourine.


Make finger bells. Take a glove and some jingle bells from the crafts section. Sew a bell on each finger and the thumb of the glove. Now wiggle your fingers.


Make a rain stick- Use two paper towel tubes and tape them together. Next poke holes in the paper towel rolls, all over, spacing about every inch and a half. Then cut the ends off of toothpicks and put them in the holes. Use saran wrap and rubber bands to seal up the bottom. Then pour in uncooked rice. Seal up the top with saran wrap and rubber bands. Finally decorate and enjoy making rain sounds.


"Hand Clappers" Have the children trace their hands on some white construction paper, then have them cut them out. Then let the children color or decorate them however they want. Next, what you need to have are some lids off of some frozen juice cans. Have 2 lids, one for each hand. Glue a lid on the backside of each hand that has been decorated. Next, take 2 Popsicle sticks and tape the upper portion to the backside of each hand. Once you have done all of this, take each hand, with the lid parts facing each other and the Popsicle sticks coming out from the bottom and put them together. Tape the 2 Popsicle sticks together near the middle, more towards the bottom. When the children hold onto them and shake them, the "hands" will "clap" together!


Make great shakers with washed out half pint milk cartons. The kids can put sand, pebbles, popcorn, or beans in them. Fold the top down, tape securely and cover with brightly covered contact paper.


Baby Bottle Shakers: Take bottles and fill each one with a different item, such as rice, jelly beans, beads, etc. Discard the nipple. Hot glue small plastic protector in ring and then glue ring/protector to the neck of the bottle to secure. They make wonderful instruments. They allow the children to make different kinds of sounds. Also, can be used as a math activity, (counting jelly beans as they drop, etc.)


Shakers/Maracas I use the 1/2 pint small plastic water bottles, some colorful beads, and a wooden dowel. Remove the label from the bottle using a hand held hair dryer (it works great). Let bottle dry, add bead (place thumb over top and shake and listen for the sound you want) Insert the dowel into the top. secure with epoxy glue. Let dry. Children love the sound the the colorful beads.


SHAKER--- Collect several Downy bottle lids, use two of them, fill with beans, rice, etc. and screw them together.

RAIN STICK--- Collect several paper towel rolls, cover one end with foil. Punch and leave straight pins around the seam of the tube. Fill with rice, cover second end with foil. Cover with contact paper to decorate.



We took a bunch of burned out light bulbs, covered them with paper mache' when they dried the children painted and decorated them with markers etc... That finished, the light bulbs can be dropped on the floor to break the bulb inside. Now each child has their own instrument during circle. Cool thing is they made them. It actually is a great idea for small group time....and it covers a couple days. No boredom either for they knew in the end would be something they could play with. Ours were made a few months back and still the children ask to play their instruments.



We use the long unit blocks as guitars, pianos, etc.

We have actually drawn the guitar strings onto the blocks with marker. When the children need a movement activity, we will put on the music and play.

You can also draw piano keys, etc.

It is not necessary to write on the blocks. You can tape laminated strings and keys onto them when you want to do this activity or simply pretend (by demonstrating).


Cut two pieces of slim PVC pipe , about eight inches long, and sand or tape the ends. Makes an interesting rhythm stick.


To make a rainstick for your classroom, take the discarded tube from bulletin board paper and two ends. Secure one endpiece to one end with tape. Make sure there are no holes. Next, hammer 60-75 nails at different angles into the tube, working all up and down the tube. Add different "fillers" such as dry macaroni, rice, sand, etc. Close and secure the other end. To play, tile the stick gently while the "filler" drifts and bounces its way down the tube.


Homemade musical instruments are great, but I have a wonderful set of real instruments that are irreplacable to my kids, and I got them for free. Check with local music teachers and music stores. They are often willing to give you old instruments when they replace theirs!!! It may take awhile, but the kids love them.


Lids & Beads Instrument--Collect some metal juice lids. Use a hammer & a nail or a drill to make holes in the lids. Thread a shoelace or thin cord through the holes adding some wooden (or plastic) beads. Use any order of beads to lids that you wish. Tie the shoelace (or cord) ends together to form a small circle to hold the instrument.

Sandpaper Blocks--Cover one side of two blocks with coarse sandpaper. Have the children hold the blocks in their hands with the sandpaper sides facing. Rub the blocks together to the music.

Triangle--Take clothes hangers and either leave them as they are, or cut and make into small triangles. Tie a string on the top. The triangle needs to be suspended to make a nice sound. Use metal spoons to tap on them.

Castanets --Use a sturdy piece of cardboard about 1 inch wide 5 inches long. Fold cardboard in half, glue large button on inside of cardboard ends. Click together to make the sound!


Use the tops of baby sood jars. They are easy to handle for small hands. They make a clicking sound. After each child uses one try two for each child. Some will catch on. Good for using both hands at the same time!



Stretch a balloon over a cookie tin, the kind those Christmas cookies come in - short and wide. A 16" balloon works best. If you inflate the balloon first and allow it to sit for a while it will stretch more successfully.Attach the balloon by stretching a rubber band around the edge and then seal with colored electrical tape. Fasten a cord to the drum with the tape so that the children can 'wear' their drum while they play it. I spray painted the tin and put stickers on it. The drum makes a really good sound.

Bongo drum

Find two plastic flower pots about 5" diameter. Glue them together bottom to bottom. Decorate with paint or stickers, contact paper etc. Two pieces of white calico fabric cut into circles about 9" diameter with small holes cut at 2" intervals around the edge and soak them in a water and Elmer's glue solution. Allow to dry almost completely and stretch one over each end of the drum. Thread some yarn or leather thread through a hole at one end of the drum and down to the other end alternately until finished.

Drums- Tack inner tube rubber around an oatmeal box or a round ice cream container.

Drum Sticks- Gather two small rubber balls and two small dowels. Cut the dowels to size. Stick each dowel through a ball. Glue in place.

Rattles-Gather 16 oz plastic pop bottles with the tops. Fill each pop bottle 1/2 way up with rice, beans, sand, etc. Secure the screw top with glue.

Cardboard Tube Kazoos- wrap wax paper over one end and secure with rubber band

Rubber Band Guitars-stretch across a Styrofoam tray or shoebox. This works great, you can even tune them!

Paper Cup Maracas-put a few beans inside then cover the end and secure


Activity: Musical Instruments

Wrist Instruments

Have a musical Parade with these home-made instruments!

Jingly Bracelet: Sew bells into elastic, fit the elastic around your hand and sew to fit. Then slip over your wrist and shake.


Fill tin-foil pie pans with seeds or beans and staple or glue gun the pans together. Shake, use heavy duty paper plates instead of pie pans for a softer sound.

Rhythm Sticks

Tap wooden dowels or hollow bamboo sticks together to make a rhythm sound.

Rhythm Blocks

Staple sandpaper to two small wooden blocks and rub them together to make a swishy sound.

Below you will find musical instruments crafts projects for kids to create musical instruments such as drums, kazoos, flutes, etc. with your children.

Make Guitars, Banjoes, & Stringed Instruments

Make Noise Makers / Maracas / Shakers

Make Drums

More Musical Instruments Crafts Below


9 Easy to Make Musical Instruments- Children love music as much as they enjoy making things. Why not join these two creative forces and make one or all of these fun and easy musical instruments to encourage play and creativity

African Drum : African Crafts Project - The finished project is about 9 inches tall.

African Drum : African Craft - A conga is an African drum traditionally made of hardwood and a cow-skin drum head.