Making musical instruments is a wonderful craft idea for kids because when you make your own instrument, you also get to play it when you are done. There are also many opportunities to make a lesson of the musical instrument craft that you make. Children can learn principles like rhythm, beat, tempo, even the musical scale. It is often easier for children who learn better visually to have the opportunity to see how an instrument is made so that they can better understand why and how it works. Naturally, you will not be making a craft project of a musical instrument that is just as realistic as the real thing. But with a little creativity, research and effort, it is possible to make a musical instrument at home that very closely resembles the real thing.
Take a drum craft for example. Kindergartners’ can easily make a drum out of an empty oatmeal container. All that they need to do is decorate the outside of the container and then bang on the drum. While this is a fine project for little kids, older children may be bored by the simplicity of the project. So you can make this craft a little more authentic by making the drum more closely resemble the real thing. Just about any hollow vessel will work as the base of the drum. You could go out to your garage and find an old terra cotta pot or maybe some empty paint cans. You can make the lid of the drum by tightly pulling fabric over the opening of the container. You could even use leather (a more historically authentic material) if you have access to that. Use twine, string or even large rubber bands to secure the fabric covering over the drum. You could use the drum as an object lesson for Native Americans and teach it to Boy Scout Troops or school children around Thanksgiving time. The number of applications is only limited by your imagination.
Another example of a musical instrument craft that has a lot of versatility to it is a flute. Young children can very easily make a flute out of a paper towel or toilet paper roll by drawing the holes of the flute along the side of the tube or by having help using a hole punch to make the appropriate holes. Older children may want to use tubes that are made out of a sturdier roll like a tin foil or plastic wrap roll. Older children can have an adult help them to make a more realistic flute out of PVC pipe. By using a drill the appropriate holes can be made. You can even go to a music store and pick up a mouth piece of the appropriate size to make a working musical instrument called a recorder. Again, the amount of effort is directly related to the authenticity of the finished product.
There are many different activities where making such crafts are appropriate. During the holiday season, music is especially important to many people. Certain musical instruments have been very important to us historically. For example, the blowing of the horn, ringing of a bell or strumming of a drum during a procession are all musical noises that we are familiar with but could benefit from receiving a refresher course on when it comes to their historical significance. As you are researching and brainstorming about these crafts, other craft ideas may come to mind. Who knows you may be more creative when it comes to musical instrument crafts than you thought. Don’t be afraid to try something new and you may just surprise yourself with what creative ideas you are capable of.