This recycled cardboard guitar by PBS Parents will be a big hit

Top five musical instruments to make and play with your children these school holidays

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Children will make music with anything. As soon as they are big enough to clang pots together in the kitchen, kids love making music. My daughter spent a good hour yesterday making up-turned plant pots and garden tools into instruments while I potted about doing chores in the garden. “I can make music out of anything!” she announced before giving an impromptu concert.

Let's Play Some Music! Image: Ginger Books
Let’s Play Some Music!

And it’s true: Let’s Play Some Music! by South Korean author Seong Eun Kang encourages children to be more curious about sounds, rhythm and musical harmony. It tells what happens when the children of Mr Maestro’s orchestra get a little too noisy and he decides to teach them about music and melody with the help of everyday objects – and their own voices!

Making a little music is the perfect way to spend an afternoon while the children are off from school this week. And although upturned plant pots make a great sound, there are plenty of great ideas around if you want to do something a little more creative.

Not only is making homemade musical instruments fun, there are lots of learning benefits – it helps promote language development, listening skills, rhythm and coordination – and imagine how pleased they’ll be with themselves when they create a real musical instrument. Here’s our pick of five brilliant instruments to make and play with your children these holidays.

Den Den Drums by Learning4kids
Den Den Drums by Learning4kids.

These Den Den Drums, or Japanese Pellet Drums, with their colourful beads by Learning4kids will be a big hit. When you twist or roll the rod between the palms of your hands, the beads swing and strike the heads of the drum, making a brilliant rat-a-tat-tat sound.

PBS Parents have brilliant instructions for making a guitar from recycled materials (see main image, above) in just four easy steps that even older children will love putting together.

rainbow_shakers
Rainbow Shakers by Activity Village

Maracas have to be one of the simplest musical instruments to make, and Activity Village’s Rainbow Shakers are some of the most colourful and fun we’ve spotted. We love the streamers!

Pot bell by Developmental Community Music
Pot Bell by Developmental Community Music

This one’s for the little gardener in your life – we found these sweet Pot Bells hidden among the Developmental Community Music archives. Aimed at teachers and other professionals, the page has lots of other DIY instrument ideas as well as some tips at the bottom on how to use them in an educational way.

Straw Panpipes by Let Kids Be Kids
Straw Panpipes by Let Kids Be Kids

Did you know that straws can make music… or rather, that if you cut drinking straws into different lengths, they will make different sounds when you blow into them? These Straw Panpipes from Let Kids be Kids will keep them happy for ages.

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