Making music with young children is a great way of combining creativity and fun with learning about global cultures. Whether you are quietly crafting, reading and researching or drumming and dancing, here are some simple instruments that can be a part of any study of the diverse and beautiful cultures of Africa.
Different types of rattles can be found throughout Africa and the world. They are easy to hold and play for kids of all ages and almost all abilities. Here are three very different rattles from Africa – one that even can be seen in hieroglyphics that date back to ancient Egypt! All of these are perfect to be made and played by small hands!
Egyptian Sistrum Rattle – Make It From A Recycled Hanger
the Eco-Egyptian Sistrum
Egyptian Sistrum Rattle – Make It From A Tree Branch
Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page
the Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page
There are an astounding number of different drums and drumming traditions throughout Africa. Crafting a simple hand drum from recycled materials is a great place to start an exploration of drumming for very young children.
Shake A Shekere
In this unique and beautiful percussion instrument, the rattle is on the outside of the gourd. It can be shaken back and forth, tossed hand to hand or used like a ball in simple children’s musical games. To hear or color a shekere or find crafting instructions and simple activities, check out the links below.
Color A Shekere Online
Make Your Own Shekere
Easy Gourd Shekere For A Kid Or A Classroom
My daughter loves African instruments ever since she saw Sweet Honey in the Rock perform in concert. I think we’ll try making one of these instruments!