Music-making Crafts and Activities

Do your kids like music? If so, you’re in luck! Today we’re creating music of a special kind – the homemade kind. If you’re not sure what that means, prepare to join us for a great time! All you need to do is get comfy and start scrolling – and when you’re ready to make your own homemade music, there are links to show you exactly what you need and how to do each part. Sound super easy? That’s because it is! So without further ado, let’s get into some musical crafts and activities:


1. The Dandelion Horn


This music-maker is available to anyone who can find a dandelion–which shouldn’t be too hard in sunny Arizona! Can’t find any? Try looking at any places where you know they haven’t been sprayed with chemicals. Dandelions are sure to be around somewhere. And guess what? That’s all you need for supplies for this music maker!


Here’s a video showing how to make one and demonstrating the sound it makes when played correctly: Dandelion horn instructional video. Have fun!


2. The Spin Drum

The Spin Drum

The Krokotak site provides a handy step-by-step pictorial guide to making spin drums, which are popular traditional drums in Peru and parts of Africa. If you find you need a little more info (like exactly what kind of supplies they’re using, etc.) give this site a try. It calls for 5 supplies plus whatever you like for decorating your drums (markers, paint, sequins). Or you could watch this video showing how to make them if you prefer to watch someone doing it. Choose whatever you like best and get to drumming!


*An adult will need to participate, most likely, depending upon the age of the kiddos, as there’s a glue gun involved. Or, you could use regular glue if you don’t mind allowing more time to dry.


3. Paper Plate Tambourine

Paper Plate Tambourine

These creative homemade tambourines are fun to make whenever the mood hits you and you’ve got the supplies on hand. They’re especially great for birthday parties, daycare or afterschool/homeschool crafts, and rainy day activities. They are easy to make and you can pick your decorations (sequins, stickers, glitter, etc). For a little inspiration, the FirstPalette site walks you through each step and shows pics of the desired results along the way, too.


*Make sure to keep an eye on any littles in your group that put things in their mouths, as well as any pets hanging out with you—you’ll want to keep some of the supplies, especially the little bells, out of their reach.


4. Limbo

Limbo

How low can you go? This classic musical game is fun for all ages and requires very little for supplies. Basically, you have two group members hold a bar (or even a long tree branch) steady between them, allowing each person to “limbo” underneath it, lowering it a little each time. The idea is not to let any part of your body touch the limbo stick as you go under, and also keep knees, hands, hips, etc. from touching the ground as you get lower. If you’d like a little more guidance, this site gives 7 ideas for limbo games and a pole like this may be useful if you don’t have enough people to hold the limbo stick. And, last but most definitely not least, here’s the song, in case you need it!


5. Pringle Can Drums

Pringle Can Drums

Don’t toss out those Pringles cans when you eat the last ones – this cool musical craft calls for 5 empties! The process for making this set of Pringles can drums is impressively easy, requiring only 3 supplies including your used and rinsed-out/dry Pringles cans and drumming sticks. Follow along with the creators on First Cry Parenting for best results. This is activity #5 and they have lots of other fun ideas, too!


6. Bottle Cap Castanets

Bottle Cap Castanets

Maggy at Red Ted Art shows us how it’s done when we’re ready to make some kid-sized castanets! You’ll just need 5 supplies per set of castanets–also called clackers or palillos–and there’s even a helpful video on the site you can watch to make yours along with Maggy.


For a little variation, this fun video shows kids making them as well as adults playing them (and other instruments) when finished. And if you’d like the kids to see how real flamenco dancers look performing with their castanets on, check this demonstration out (castanets start about one minute into the video). Then let them show off their dance styles with their own homemade clackers!


7. Name That Tune

Name That Tune

Can you name a song in 5 notes? How about 3? Based on the game made famous by the 70’s and 80’s era television show, Name That Tune can be done in countless ways–for kiddos, you can try Name That Tune with Disney songs, Kidz Bop songs, Pixar movie songs, other kids’ movie songs, or even just humming songs yourselves!


You can create your own version, having kids guess songs as teams or individuals, earning points toward another activity or for prizes (the faster the guess, the higher the points), or whatever strikes your fancy. The idea is that they try to guess the song as quickly as possible, whether you go down to the number of actual notes being played, or just simply playing the song until they raise their hand/press a button/stand up–whatever is fun for your group!


8. Water Xylophone

Water Xylophone

For this music-making craft, we’re going to make a homemade xylophone using only supplies from the kitchen! You can follow the process on the Teach Beside Me site, where you’ll basically just fill six or seven glasses with water at varying levels, then add a drop or two of food coloring to each one in rainbow order–then tap a spoon gently against each one to see how it sounds. The site not only explains how to create the xylophone, but at the end it explains scientifically why it works. Enjoy!


9. Rainstick

Rainstick

This exciting musical instrument is believed to have originated within the Aztec culture, when they were made to bring rain to dry crops. Nowadays we play them for entertainment or maybe even relaxation instead, as their pitter patter rhythm makes them sound just like rain!


You can start with either a paper towel roll or wrapping paper roll, or any other size cardboard tube that you have on hand in the size you desire. From there, you’ll need 5-6 supplies (swap out the craft nails for a bit of foil if you have littles about; she’ll explain it in the video), in addition to whatever you’d like to decorate your rainstick with. You can follow along with this video from WhatsUpMoms to see how to make them.


10. Freeze Dance or “Musical Statues”

Freeze Dance or "Musical Statues"

This musical game will let your group get plenty of exercise while having a blast enjoying music. To play, simply explain the game and then start playing music. Demonstrate how to “freeze” when the music stops (just do this intermittently, every few seconds to a minute or so). If anyone moves or keeps dancing beyond the “freeze” point, they’re out. (But it’s ok if you keep them in, sometimes it’s just fun to keep freezing as best you can!)


For added inspiration, this video plays Freeze Dance along with the characters from Encanto, this one demonstrates with dancing, hopping, skipping, and other moves, and this one shows animals moving in different ways until it’s time to FREEZE!


11. Homemade Kazoos

Homemade Kazoos

Who doesn’t love the sound of a kazoo? Make these fun homemade kazoos with 3 supplies plus whatever you’d like to decorate them with by following along with the steps on The Joy of Boys site. There are pictures to guide you as well. Make a different variation following this video guide if you like, using tongue depressors (or large, wide popsicle sticks) instead of toilet paper rolls. A whole band of kazoos playing together when you’re done will make quite the sound indeed!


12. Paper Plate Cymbals

Paper Plate Cymbals

Another fantastic musical craft from First Palette, these paper plate cymbals make the perfect addition to the drumline and kazoos we’ve got already! You’ll need 7 supplies for this one, and one of them is a glue gun so adult supervision is required.


Go for optimal symmetry here (same size plates, coins glued in the same place on each plate, etc.) to create the best sound possible. Then pair it with whatever other instruments you’ve got after everything is fully dried – or just play it alone – for your own little marching band!


13. Cardboard Harp

Cardboard Harp

One of the oldest musical instruments in the world, the harp originated back as far as 3,000 B.C. So we thought it would be fun to include it in our musical crafting roundup! This craft is definitely for the older kids in your group, or maybe a few of the young ones (Not too young though!) with substantial adult assistance and supervision provided. Instructions are provided on the Little Ladoo site, and there’s a great photo of all the supplies you’ll need on there too - 6 in total, including the downloadable template when you print it. There is also a helpful video for the group to watch together before and during the craft. And just for kicks, here are some fun facts about harps you can read to the kids while they’re making them.


14. Viking Horn

Viking Horn

Although they’re called Viking Horns, it’s believed that horns made out of actual horns or bone were a rare find in the Viking Age, and that they were mostly made from wood at that time. Later on, ancient Jewish people from Israel made something called shofar from ram’s horns, which were used to signal the beginning of the month of Rosh Hashanah. There is also a mention or two of the shofar in the Bible. That is believed to be the actual “Viking Horn” we will be making together.


To make these interesting homemade artifacts, follow the instructions on this site. You’ll need 10 supplies, with some of them being optional. Have a blast–no pun intended!


15. Pass the Parcel


This cute game starts with a gift that's been wrapped repeatedly being passed around in a group of children seated in a circle. They continue to pass the parcel or “gift” until the music stops–then the kiddo that has it takes a layer of paper off the gift. One at a time the layers come off the gift that is being passed until finally one of the group members gets it at the right time and unwraps the gift. Ideally, the gift would be something the whole group can share.


This video plays music with automatic stops along the way, so you won’t have to if you don’t want to–or if you’d rather play the game with the kiddos!


We hope you’ll enjoy making some of these fun musical crafts and playing some of the games and activities. If you do, take a picture and send it to our email at Jungle Roots (or if it’s a craft, bring it in with you and show us). We’d love to see you enjoying your free time in fun ways!


 
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