Madison’s Mommy here with another fun parenting tip for you. The summertime is a great time to explore new things with children, and music is a great way to experiment, have fun, and get creative. When it comes to music, there are so many ways to experiment with sound and rhythm that just about everything can become a musical instrument and turned into a lesson. The best part is, children, end up having so much fun that they don’t even realize that what they are doing is more than just play, that it’s actually good for their development.
Try out these easy ideas to create instruments from things around the house and have some good ole summertime fun.
Create a Rain Stick
Rain sticks are quick and easy to make, and not only can they be used to create music, but creating them gives you the opportunity to create art as well. To create a musical rain stick you are going to need a long paper towel tube, half a cup of rice, several toothpicks, paper and rubber bands. Have children color or paint the paper towel tubes, then pierce the tube with several dozen toothpicks to that they run completely through the tube. Use scissors to trim the ends of the toothpicks so no one gets hurt. Use the rubber bands to secure paper to one of the the tube and cap off the stick. Pour the rice into the tube and cap off the other end. Tip the rain stick so that the rice falls through the tube creating a calming sound as the grains hit the wooden toothpicks.
Rubber band Guitars
Guitars, and other stringed instruments, are a lot of fun for children to play and they are very easy to make. Generations of musicians have actually created intricate music on very simple stringed instruments that were created from leftover materials. To create rubber band guitars you are going to need a variety of different sized rubber bands and a small box or container that can be cut. An empty Kleenex box, old cigar box, or something similar will work well. Create a whole in the center of your guitar box and adjust the rubber bands so that they are around the box, but over the centered hole that you have created. Have children pluck the strings and see if there is a difference between the different rubber bands.
Water Glass Organ
Organs are big, impressive instruments that take a lot of time and dedication to master, but you can create something similar with water glasses. A set of four wine glasses can be put to work as a water glass organ with just water and the glasses. Fill the glasses with varying amounts of water, have children wet their fingers and run them over the edges of the glass. Let them experiment with adding and subtracting water from their instruments to create different sounds.
For a fun instrument that can be worn and used to dance to the music with, try out a set of jingle bracelets or anklets. Ribbon and a bag of small bells are needed for this musical craft. Measure the length of your child’s wrist and cut the ribbon so that it is three times as long. Help children string the bells onto the ribbon, one at a time and tie them off so that they are equal distance apart. Add four to five bells to each bracelet, tying off as you go. When the ribbon is filled with bells, tie the bracelets on and encourage children to create their own beats with the bells.