Fill an empty container, such as a plastic Easter egg, oatmeal box or coffee pot, about a third full with a small dry substance. Dried peas, raw macaroni noodles, small pebbles, raw rice or small pearls work well.
Close the container and make sure it is sealed. You may want to apply tape as an extra seal, depending on the container.
Decorate the instrument with art supplies, such as paints, markers, paper, glue and glitter.
Shake the instrument to create music. Experiment with different containers and contents to make several instruments with different sounds.
Cut a hole about 2 to 3 inches in diameter in
Cover the lid of an empty shoebox with clear packaging tape.
Decorate the box. You can add a decorative ‘neck’ to the guitar by relying on a paper towel tube at the end of the box.
Stretch rubber bands of different sizes and thicknesses around the locks longways. The straps should pass over the hole in the middle.
Pick the strings to create different tones. Experiment with pulling the rubber bands tighter or loosening them to see how the tones change. You can attach an object (such as a marker or dowel) between the end of the box and the straps to make all the rubber straps higher in pitch.
Line a few plastic or glass bottles in a row (eight bottles will make one octave). Plastic bottles work best for younger children. The bottles can be of the same type, or they can vary in shape and size.
Fill the bottles with water, increase the amount of water as you go down.
Blow gently over the tops of the bottle. Places should be higher or lower, depending on which direction you are moving. (The higher the water level, the higher the pitch.)
For older children, use a keyboard to play eight seats in sequential order. Try to adjust the water level in the bottles so that you match the places and create an octave with your bottles.
Building instruments for children can be a fun project for both adults and children. By participating in the construction process, children learn about such concepts as the production of sound, tone, pitch, rhythm and instrument properties and families. Decorating the instruments when they are constructed is a great way for children to express artistic talent as well.