Even if your little ones are a bit too young to start formal musical training, it’s a terrific idea to expose them to basic concepts like rhythm, pitch and melody. A fun and exciting way to get youngsters involved in their earliest musical training is by helping them to make their own musical instruments.
We’ve scanned the web to find 12 go-to (simple) musical crafts perfect for a rainy day, a quiet weekend or really any time!
Looking for something a little more advanced than the preschool-level activities below? Use these 100% FREE resources to teach little ones how to read sheet music: Beginner Notes sheet music, keyboard note guide, and keyboard apps for iPad or Android.
1. Water Xylophone
This classic childhood activity teaches kids about sound waves and vibrations. We love the Little Page Turners idea of adding food coloring to make a rainbow of colors!
2. Outdoor Music Station
You likely have most of the supplies needed for tin can musical crafts in your recycling bin. Just decorate, hang with string and find some sturdy stick ‘mallets’ like My Nearest and Dearest.
3. Straw Pan Flute
Moving right along in the “so easy, anyone can make it” category, we have the straw flute. Real Purdy offers step-by-step instructions for this very simple lesson in pitch.
4. Matchbox Guitar
Martha Stewart and company show us how to turn ‘junk drawer’ staples into the tiniest musical toy for an introductory lesson in string tension.
Even easier than a matchbox, make Teach Preschool’s strummies using different sized boxes, lids and rubberbands.
6. Paper Plate Tambourine
7. Colorful Egg Shakers
Even the youngest of musicians will love playing with these plastic egg shakers, via Mama Smiles.
8. Popsicle Stick Harmonica
Older kids can make this simple, fun project by themselves. Idea courtesy of Housing a Forest.
Another classic activity, a homemade kazoo was a first musical ‘instrument’ for many of us. Buggy and Buddy offers experimental variation ideas to keep little ones thinking musically.
10. Craft Stick Piano
An 8-keyed piano comes together in a snap using extra-wide craft sticks, two C-clamps and a wooden block. Adjust the lengths to make a full scale like Deceptively Educational.
11. Rain Sticks
As with many of the other projects on this list, we love letting youngsters personalize their creations. Happy Hooligans offers great ideas for customizing rain sticks.
12. Balloon Bassoon
This one is a little more involved, but can be adapted using materials you may already have at home. Watch Child’s Play Music demonstrate this easy-to-play one-note woodwind.
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We hope you and your youngsters enjoy these simple musical crafts. It’s never too early to encourage musicianship, which can open up an entire new world of possibilities as kids grow.
Do you have any musical crafts that you’ve enjoyed? Share in the comments section below.