Buying musical instruments for your kids can be pricey. Just one instrument can cost hundreds of dollars, and you aren’t even sure that if you buy the instrument, your kid will want to put forth the effort to learn how to play it. You could be out hundreds of dollars and all you are left with is an instrument that collects dust in the attic. Fortunately there are many creative ways to introduce music to your children in a way that is fun, non-threatening and highly affordable. All you need to do is make your instruments. With homemade instruments your young children can get a feel for what the real instrument will be like and as a parent you can see for yourself if music is something that your child is really interested in. Even if you do not become the mother of a musical child prodigy, these craft activities are fun to make and to play with together.
To make a shoebox guitar, you will need an empty shoebox, rubber bands, and a ruler or a stick. To begin you will want to either remove the cover/lid from the box or cut an oval shaped hole in the box lid. Next, stretch the rubber bands around the box length wise. Attach the ruler or stick to the back of the box on one end to act as the arm of the guitar. You could also substitute a paper towel tube as the arm of the guitar, especially if the guitar is for younger children and you are looking for a safer alternative. To play your guitar, strum or pluck the rubber bands. By cutting an oval hole in the box you will get more of a range from the rubber bands.
Drums are perhaps the most popular musical craft to make. Some kids make this craft without even realizing it when they pull the pots and pan from the cupboard and start hitting them with wooden spoons. For a drum set that has a little bit more personality you will need an empty oatmeal box with its lid cover, yarn, a pen, 2 pencils, 2 spools, construction paper and crayons. Before starting to make that actual drum, you can decorate the oatmeal box with the construction paper and/or crayons. Once the container is decorated to your liking, 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. This step can be skipped if you would rather have a freestanding drum rather than one that can hang. For the drumsticks, place the spools at the ends of the pencils, secure with glue or wrapped string if necessary. This drum will also work with simple beats from the child’s hand, an option that may be more appropriate for younger children.
Shakers are easy to make and fun to play. All that you need to make a shaker is a paper plat, some tape and rice. Decorate the underside of the plate in any way that you wish. Once the plate is decorated, fold the plate in half so that the top of the plate is on the inside of the shaker. Secure the edges of the plate together with tape but leave an opening large enough to pour rice through. Pour a little bit of rice (a tablespoon or two is all you need) into your folded plate. Use the tape to seal the remaining opening. Now shake!