Musical Instruments You Can Make From Things at Home

Old pots and pans can make great rhythm instruments.

Making musical instruments at home is a great activity for parents to complete with children. Teaching them about acoustics and helping them create their own musical instruments can be a memorable and exciting experience for kids. Before starting, explain that sound relies on vibrations, and vibrations are caused when something moves back and forth very quickly. Explain that it isn't always possible to see the object move and that vibrations are often very quick.


If you have some old pans lying around it is possible to make drums using the pans and a pair of wooden spoons. Attach two or three layers of wax paper over the top by tying a string around the pot and use the wooden spoons as drumsticks. The layers of wax paper should help prevent drumming straight through. You can hold the spoons by the rounded part and use the tips to tap out rhythms.


Woodblocks commonly used in orchestras and bands help keep and accent main beats in a song. You can easily create woodblocks with materials lying around the house. Look for two pieces of wood of approximately the same size and shape. You can also use wooden utensils or dowels if you have those lying around the house. Hold them using a cupped hand and a loose grip. If you hold the woodblocks too firmly, they will not resonate. Experiment with different ways of holding the woodblocks to get the best sound.

Water Glasses

Line up eight identical glasses on a counter or table. Pour a half inch of water into the first glass then add a half inch of water for each additional glass so that the second glass has 1 inch of water and the third has 1.5 inches. Find a wooden stick or use a spoon to hit the side of each glass. Each glass will have a specific pitch that you can use to create music.


Plastic Easter eggs left over from Easter can make great shakers. Shakers add texture and rhythm to the music. Fill the eggs with rice, rocks or beads and then tape them together to ensure they don't open during use. Create two shakers so that you have one for each hand. In conjunction with the other instruments created you will soon have enough instruments for a full homemade orchestra.


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