Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out! 10 Great Recycled Instruments to Make With Your Child!

josef and cajon

Turn a broomstick into Australian bilma for some really versatile rhythm sticks. Or a cardboard box into a Peruvian cajón – perfect to learn hand-drumming!  You’d be surprised how many wonderfully unique world music instruments can Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out - Coverbe made from recycled or repurposed materials.  And sound good.  And inspire musical play in your home or classroom.

Best of all, many of these instruments mean thinking about things in a new way.  Working with these simple crafts, kids can see how many important items originally came from nature – such as Native American turtle shell rattles, rainsticks from chola cactus branches and bamboo reeds were fashioned into panpipes.  Or how things take on a special significance when they are made by hand or made with love and personal attention.  And how some of the most amazing instruments are the quietest – like a simple sistrum that dates back to ancient Egypt.  Or a drum that can do an zamponas front and backamazing impression of the sounds of surf.

While crafting with your kids, you can explore a variety of beautiful world cultures and use it as a way of connecting with your class, your family or your community.

Here’s a list of the recycled instruments found in the E-book.

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 5.26.10 PMACTIVITY ONE

Australian blima clapsticks from broomsticks or tree branches


Peruvian style cajón drum from a cardboard box of any size

horse gong imageACTIVITY THREE

Chinese-style gong from a recycled roasting pan or cookie sheet


A South American “quijada” jawbone instrument made from egg cartons


An ocean drum made from a pizza box and recycled plastic folders


A rainstick made from a used mailing tube


An Egyptian sistrum from a forked tree branch or a coat hanger

tingsha on white 1ACTIVITY EIGHT

Tinghsa handbells made from repurposed “Snapple” tops


Native American turtle shell rattle from take-out containers

josef playing straw zamponasACTIVITY TEN

Panpipes from clean, recycled drinking straws

So download the book, dig into the recycling bin and make a joyful noise today!

Free Download!

If you’re reading this post during April 2014, you can get a free download of this awesomely green musical craft book here:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out! is also available from TeachersPayTeachers here:



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