Toddler Music Activity: Homemade Instruments

How can I make and use homemade musical instruments for my toddler’s music lesson?

Today I am going to talk more about toddler music and movement activities. The activity is playing with homemade musical instruments. This is honestly one of the easiest toddler music activities you can do. It takes a tiny bit of prep work to prepare the instruments, but once they are made, you can pull them out at any time and have a super fun music lesson.

Toddler Music Activity - Homemade Instruments - momshavequestinostoo.com

First, I’ll quickly talk about how to use homemade instruments for a toddler music lesson. There are lots of different ways to use instruments and you can probably think of many on your own. Here are some pretty standard ideas:

  • Give each child an instrument and sing (or listen to) a song and play the instrument to the music

  • Give only one child and instrument and let them play during the song, then rotate to the next child.

  • Give each child an instrument, but they can only play if you are pointing to them.

  • Have children play their instruments to the beat of the music

Honestly, the kids know what to do with the instruments, which makes it extra easy for you to prepare. Just give them the homemade instruments and let them play with the music. This is always one of my kids’ favorite musical activities. They will sit and listen to, or sing music for much longer if instruments are involved.

Now, I’ll quickly show you how to make four different homemade instruments. They aren’t anything special and they are very simple, but my kids love them.

Tissue Box Guitar

Start with an empty tissue box. If desired, decorate with stickers, paint, paper, etc. When the tissue box is completely dry, put different rubber bands of different lengths and thicknesses over the tissue box hole. To play, pluck the rubber bands.

Playing the box guitar - Toddler Music Activity - Homemade Instruments - momshavequestinostoo.com

Toilet Paper Roll “Sticks”

Decorate two toilet paper rolls and you are done. Yes, that really is all there is to it. To play, hit the toilet paper rolls against each other or against the wall or floor.

Toilet paper tube sticks - Toddler Music Activity - Homemade Instruments - momshavequestinostoo.com

Oatmeal Can Drum

Start with an empty oatmeal can or something with a similar shape. We go through lots of oatmeal in our house, so we never have a shortage of empty oatmeal cans. Decorate the can with stickers, paper, glitter glue, paint, etc. To play, hit the top of the oatmeal can with your hands.

Oatmeal Container Drum - Toddler Music Activity - Homemade Instruments - momshavequestinostoo.com

Straw Whistle

Gather about 10-15 clean, unused straws. Tape them all together neatly so they are nice and straight. Now, use scissors (don’t let your child do this part) to cut the straws at an angle on one end. To play, blow carefully through the straight end of the straws. You should be able to make different notes with each straw because of the angled cut at the bottom.

Making a Straw Whistle - Toddler Music Activity - Homemade Instruments - momshavequestinostoo.com

Playing the straw whistle - Toddler Music Activity - Homemade Instruments - momshavequestinostoo.com

Like I said before, these homemade instruments aren’t all that fancy, but they definitely add fun to a toddler music lesson. They are also a great way to get your child moving to music which can help him or her sense the steady beat. Homemade musical instruments are a fun way to spice up any music time.

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