You love to rock out on (fill in the blank with your instrument of choice)… Question is: How do you choose the right instrument for your child? I’ve been trying to figure that out since our daughter got her pincers working, and the instrument is always changing. She has shown me a lot about what is right for her when it comes to rocking out, so I thought I’d share what Little D has taught me about choosing the right instrument for your child.
Have more tips on how to choose the right instrument for a child?
Share below! And for some great music to play along and sing and sleep to, check out some of our releases below.
We’re back with another installment of our Music in Our Schools Month DIY! Today, we’re making Homemade Rainsticks.
In elementary school, we would have a day every few months when our music teacher would bring out every odds and ends instrument she had collected over the years for us to jam with, including a giant rainstick from Chile that stood taller than her. When she’d flip the stick end over end, all the contents inside would run down and create a beautiful, rainy chiming that was mesmerizing.
So again, in honor of “Music in Our Schools Month” (and to continue inspiring the littlest music makers), we’ve created another kid-friendly musical instrument for your little rockers! This week, we’re making Rainsticks.
What You’ll Need: Mailing Tube (we used an 11×2 inch tube with ends)
3 tbsp Rice
3 tbsp Unpopped Popcorn
Optional: Glue and construction paper
1. Tear a 2 ½ foot length sheet of aluminum foil and crush it lengthwise into the shape of a long cylinder.
2. Wrap it around the handle of a broom (or comparable-shaped object) to form a coil. Remove from broom. Coil should measure about the length of your mailing tube)
3. Create a 2nd coil by repeating step 1 & 2. This time after, removing the coil from the broom, continue twisting the aluminum to create a tighter coil.
4. Place the small coil within the larger coil.
5. Place the two coils into mailing tube.
6. Use hot glue or masking tape to secure the ends of the foil inside the tube about ¼ inch from opening.
7. After one end of the mailing tube has been securely closed off, pour in rice and popcorn combination.
Get your kids started making a racket early on and get their creative fires burning with homemade instruments that are as fun to make as they are to play. Enchantedlearning.com has a huge list of homemade instruments, as does Kinderart.com. Here’s a list of some of the great ones from both sites.
What you need:
-empty shoe box
-ruler or stick
Remove the cover from the box. Stretch the rubber bands around the box. Attach the ruler or stick to the back of the box on one end to act as the neck of the guitar. To play, strum or pluck the rubber bands.
What you need:
-empty oatmeal box with cover
Before beginning, you can decorate the oatmeal box with construction paper and/or crayons for a colorful effect. Place the cover on the box. Use a pen to make a hole in the center of the cover and in the center of the bottom of the box. Through these holes, pull a piece of yarn long enough to hang around child’s neck and down to their waist. For the drumsticks, place the spools at the ends of the pencils, secure with glue if necessary. Beat to play.
Water-Bottle Baby Rattle
What you need:
-1 Empty Water Bottle
-1/4 cup of uncooked rice, lentils or beans
-Assorted colored ribbons.
-Optional beads, sequins or felt shapes
-Hot glue or non-toxic craft glue
This craft project shows you how to make a baby toy out of a recycled water bottle. This baby toy craft is a great sensory toy for little minds to help them play and develop. Start by taking your water bottle and allowing it to dry. Once it is dry add your “rattle” items. This bottle is filled with rice, sequins, felt cutouts and a few assorted bright beads. Place some glue around the rim of the lid and then pop it on and allow it to set. This is just an extra precautionary in case the top should become loose. Keep in mind this toy is for small infants Birth-6 months so secure the lid with glue to be safe.
What you need:
-A paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube
-Small dried beans (like lentils), unpopped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta
-Brown paper (from a grocery bag) or construction paper
-Crayons or markers
Trace around the end of your tube onto a piece of brown paper (or construction paper). Draw a bigger circle around that circle and then draw a lot of spokes between the two circles. Cut along the spokes. Put glue on the spokes and glue the cap onto one end of your tube. Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is about one and half times the length of your tube and about 6 inches wide. Crunch the aluminum foil into two long, thin, snake-like shapes. Then twist each one into a spring shape. Put the aluminum foil springs into your tube. Pour some dry beans, dry rice, or unpopped popcorn into your tube. The tube should only be about 1/10 full. You can experiment to see how different amounts and different types of seeds and beans change the sound. Make another cap from brown paper (the same as the first three steps) and cap your tube. Optional: Decorate the tube by covering it with brown paper or construction paper, and then making designs with crayons or markers (or cut-out paper or stickers).
What you need:
-paper towel roll
Cover one end of the paper towel roll with waxed paper, secure it with a rubber band. Punch a row of holes along one side of the roll with the tip of a pen. To play, sing a tune into the open end of the horn.
Continuing in my quest to make jug band musicians out of each and every kid exposed to this blog, I’m going to follow up my previous post on making a cigar box banjo with something to fill out the low end – a washtub bass. This classic hillbilly instrument is easy to make, fun to play, and makes laundry just a little bit harder to do.
A galvanized metal washtub – get this at your local hardware store.
A wooden pole – a broomstick works fine here.
Two metal washers, two nuts, a large eye screw, and a bolt
A length of medium-weight rope.
You’ll also need a drill and bit that can get through the metal of the washtub.
Start off by drilling a hole in the center of the washtub to let the eye screw through. This is a grown-up job, as children lack the trigonometric knowledge to accurately judge the center point of the circle. Also drills and metal are a little bit dangerous. While you’re drilling, drill a hole in one end of the pole for the bolt.
Screw the bolt into the pole so it’s sticking out from both sides. Put the eye screw into the hole with a washer on each side and the nut at the bottom, and tighten the assemblage. Cut a groove into the end of the pole that doesn’t have the bolt on it so it fits on the lip of the washtub.
Finally, cut your rope to about eight feet and tie one end to the eye screw. Wrap the other end around the bolt in the pole and tighten it until it sits at about a 30 degree angle when the pole is resting on the lip. Tie it off so it’s tight. Now you should be ready to play – drop the lip in the groove, pull on the pole to make the rope tight and pluck it to make the washtub resonate with that classic bwoom sound.
Feeling overpowered by baby’s cries? If your little angel would rather rock the casbah than go straight to bed, let Rockabye Baby’s gentle versions of The Clash’s hits carry them off to dreamland. Sleep is calling.