How to Make Musical Instruments for Preschoolers


Introduction to music is important for preschoolers. Music helps foster creativity and encourages brain development. A great way to introduce music to preschoolers is to involve them in a craft of making musical instruments. Preschoolers enjoy using their hands and tend to respond well to materials they are involved in creating. With a few common craft supplies and household materials, you can lead children to create an entire orchestra using the steps below.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty paper plates
  • Stapler/staples
  • Clear tape
  • Hole punch
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Jingle bells
  • Cardboard containers with lids
  • Decorative craft supplies (such as feathers, beads, markers and glitter)
  • Glue
  • Dowel rods (or spools glued to unsharpened pencils)
  • Glass bottles or jars
  • Water (with optional food coloring)
  • Dried beans or rice
  • Fine-tooth combs
  • Wax paper
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper towel tube
  • Paper
  • Pompoms

How to Make Musical Instruments for Preschoolers

  • Make a tambourine. Staple together two heavy-duty paper plates. Cover the backs of the staples with tape to avoid cuts. Using a hole punch, punch holes about an inch apart around the edge. Lace string with jingle bells and tie a bell to each hole.

  • Make a drum. Provide clean, empty cardboard containers with lids -- such as oatmeal canisters. Allow the preschoolers to decorate their containers. Supply dowel rods as drumsticks, or glue empty thread spools onto unsharpened pencils.

  • Make a xylophone. Help the children fill 10 glass bottles or jars (of the same type, such as baby food jars) with decreasing amounts of water, which will give each jar a different musical note. The jars or bottles may be used with or without lids. With lids the sound will be more muted, and without them the sound will be much louder. You may wish to color the water as an extra sensory experience for the children. Gently tap the jars with a dowel rod or drumstick to make music.

  • Make maracas. Allow the children to partially fill empty cardboard or plastic containers with dried beans or rice. Apply glue around the rim of each container's lid and twist the lid into place. Encourage the children to decorate their maracas.

  • Make a kazoo. Have the children fold wax paper in half over the teeth of a fine-tooth comb. Play the kazoo by humming against the wax paper.

  • Make a guitar. Remove the lid of a shoe box and stretch three to five different-sized rubber bands lengthwise across the box.

  • Make a rainmaker. Tape paper to one end of an empty paper towel tube, leaving the other end open. Allow the children to decorate the tube. Fill the tube three quarters full with pompoms. Spoon in three to four tablespoons of dried beans or rice. Then tape paper to the other end of the tube. Tip it upside down to hear the rain.

Tips & Warnings

  • As you make instruments, include the children in as many steps as possible.

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