Tag Archives: Easiest Instruments For Children

Make An Ocean Drum for World Oceans Day

me and the dolphinHave you heard of World Oceans Day? Celebrated annually on June 8th, it’s an internationally recognized and celebrated day to learn, share, preserve and promote one of our most magnificent resources, the oceans and seas.

The World Oceans Days website (link below) is a wealth of information – including research on pollution, posters in 15 languages, and a variety of action steps that anyone can take to make a difference. Visit the site to learn how oceans regulate our climate, generate most of the oxygen we breathe, clean the water that we drink and so much more.

Want to combine your learning with a fun recycled music craft?  Here’s a way you can reduce, reuse, recycle and make a great homemade drum that sounds remarkably like the sea!

What Is An Ocean Drum?

If you live near the sea or have visited an ocean, you know the wonderful, traditional ocean drumrelaxing sound of waves coming and going along the seashore. An ocean drum is a 2 sided hand drum that – when played – sounds just like the surf. In fact, if you close your eyes, you can imagine you are right there on the beach, hearing the waves as they come and go.

Above is a picture of a traditional ocean drum.

Make Your Own Recycled Ocean Drum

blue ocean drum kimbertonCheck your recycling bin.  Do you have a sturdy pizza box or a mailing box with dimensions somewhat like the one seen here?  If you do, you can fill the bottom of the box with sand, salt, seed beads or any tiny pasta (like acini de pepe). There’s also some great ways to create a window to the drum, decorate the outside and seal the box so the contents don’t escape and you can use it for weeks to come.

Ocean Drum Tutorial Free

Want a step-by-step tutorial plus other great info on this drum and world music instruments? Until June 16th, we’ve reduced the price of this great kids music resource to – free!  (Note: If you read this post after June 16, 2017 and need a free educator’s copy, just contact daria at dariamusic at yahoo dot com for more info).

Links And Resources

ocean drum pdfFree Tutorial – MYO Ocean Drum – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ocean-Drum-Craft-1567951

World Oceans Day – Main Sitehttp://www.worldoceansday.org/

Find An Oceans Day Event Near You – http://www.worldoceansday.org/events_list

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3 Great Music Crafts for Cinco De Mayo!

Childhood LearningCinco de Mayo is a wonderful time to learn more about Mexican history and culture. Making and playing simple instruments from Mexico is great fun for even the youngest child. Here are three easy music crafts that will let your little one try their hand at joining in the musical fun of this special holiday!

Make Some Maracas!

If you have two small water bottles and two toilet paper rolls, plus a bit of filling and tape, you can make a sturdy pair of great-sounding maracas.  Basically, maracas are two rattles held by the handles and played with both hands. Imagine the fun you can have with music and with music and movement with these!

prize maracas 1Professional maracas have different sounds in each of the containers and you can try that as well. You can fill your recycled instrument with combinations like beans and rice, paper clips and erasers or smaller and larger dried pasta pieces. That way the left and right maraca will make different sounds when shaken and you can create even more the rhythms with the pair!

homemade button maracasNeed a full tutorial, with different playing suggestions? You can find one here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Latin-American-Intruments-Make-Your-Own-Maracas-1428029

Be A Guiro Hero!

Even if you don’t recognize the word “guiro”, you’ll know the sound right away! It’s the instrument that makes the “b-r-r-r-r-r-r” sound often heard in Latin American and Caribbean music. And it’s really fun for kids to play!

homemade guiro and 6 raspsThe sound is achieved by rubbing a stick, a scraper or a rasp over a series of ridges – and any plastic water bottle with firm ridges makes a fantastic guiro. Filling the water bottle with colorful shredded paper, confetti or similar items makes it even more fun to play. When I do this project with kids or classes, I like to use an unsharpened pencil attached to the bottle with colorful yarn as my scraper, but there are lots of other items you can use as well and each one produces a unique sound. Try whisks, hair picks, chopsticks or even plastic spoons, forks, or sporks for percussion play!

Click, Clack…Castanets!

This is another creative project for discovering rhythms or developing fine motor skills. Eli and Button CastanetsCastanets originally came from the European region of Spain and Portugal and some historians believe they were actually made from tapping together walnut shells before they were crafted out of wood.

Our recycled project doesn’t include nuts or carved wood. We create fun little workable castanets out of sturdy paper and buttons or various sizes. You make them in pairs and – you guessed it – each different set of buttons makes different sounds.

Playing suggestions? Get the hang of tapping them together and separately. Then play along to your favorite songs or try singing and tapping at the same time. Often played as part of the flamenco music tradition heard in Spain and in Mexico, you’ll be amazed at how a talented castanet player can use this tiny instrument as part of a breath-taking performance.

Here’s an example of a well-known flamenco dancer and castanet player named La Emi from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Is Cinco de Mayo Mexican Independence Day (Spoiler Alert – No!)

By the way, do you know what the 5th of May actually celebrates?  If you don’t you can check out this history freebie from my TPT Store here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-Cinco-De-Mayo-2514584

Links And Resources

Free Mariachi Guitar Coloring Page
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mariachi-Guitar-Coloring-Page-2511636

Hear or Color a Guiro   http://www.dariamusic.com/guiro.php

Make Your Own Guiro from TPT
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Latin-American-Guiro-1230266

Cinco De Mayo Music Crafts E-Book From TeachersPayTeachers
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-De-Mayo-Music-Crafts-2507025

10 Musical Crafts For Exploring Hispanic Heritage
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Celebrate-Hispanic-Heritage-Musical-Craft-And-Coloring-E-Book-1427919

Chinese New Year For Kids – Music and Crafts!

Screen shot 2017-01-27 at 11.40.50 AMIn 2017, the Chinese Lunar New Year begins on January 28th and we welcome in the year of the fire rooster!

Over the past years, we’ve shared some of our favorite music crafts that are easy to make for all ages and use recycled and “on-hand” materials. This year we decided to do share our 3 most popular music crafts as well as share our favorite Chinese New Year Pinterest Board, so you can explore a world of great crafts, foods, books, games and activities and related Chinese New Year Kids activities.

So bang a gong, make a paper lantern,color a New Years greeting and celebrate a beautiful Chinese Lunar New Year!

Music Posts

sheep goat gongMake Your Own Gong Post- http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/bang-a-gong/

PDF Activity (free on TPT) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Chinese-Gong-From-Recycled-Materials-486935

Bolang Gu creft + real oneMake Your Own Bolang Gu Chinese Pellet Drum Post http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/chinese-mandarin/make-your-own-bolang-gu-chinese-pellet-drum/

PDF on TPT https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Make Your Own Tinghsha Handbells – PDF on TPT Tinghsa on redhttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Explore-Tibetan-Handbells-Plus-a-Make-Your-Own-Handbell-Craft-560016

 

A World Of Great Crafts And Activities – Via Pinterest!

I’m proud to be part of the Multicultural Kid Bloggers networks who hosts a Chinese New Year Pinterest board.  Visit here for an ever-expanding collection of Screen shot 2017-01-27 at 12.05.38 PMgreat crafts, activities, coloring pages, books, foods and more.   Some of our favorite are the pretty paper lantern craft,  fortune cookie activity, the Chinese zodiac matching cards and … so … much … more!

https://www.pinterest.com/MKBlogs/chinese-new-year/

Make Your Own New Year’s Eve Noise-Makers!

big-bottle-shaker-recycled-rattleMany new parents – or tired parents – opt to stay home on New Year’s Eve and ring in the New Year with the kids! Even if you won’t stay up until midnight – you definitely need some fun noise-makers to mark the coming of a new year!

Here is a new New Year’s Eve project – big bottle shakers – as well as a list of favorite noise-making crafts from the past few years. Monkey drums and vuvuzelas, anyone?

Oh yes, and a very happy new year to all!

Big Bottle Shakers For New Year’s Eve!

sticker-shekere-pictureKids like to make lots of noise and these big rattles are perfect for safe and easy noise-makers. Start with a large recycled bottle (with a lid or cap) that’s clean and dry. Gallon milk jug containers and liter soft drink bottles work well for this craft.

Step One is to fill with whatever you have on hand. For louder rattles, add items like extra jingle bells, buttons, pebbles, dried macaroni or paper clips. For quieter rattles, add things like birdseed, sand, salt or sugar. Before you close the cap and seal the rattle, consider adding a bit of bling. Maybe some glitter that you have on-hand or some MYO confetti? (BTW, Our next post is MYO confetti – it’s messy but super simple!).

Step Two. Once you’ve filled your bottle with things that jingle and jangle, close the lid and seal with a sturdy tape, such as colorful electrical tape. This keeps the contents inside and makes the project more child safe.

screen-shot-2016-03-28-at-3-09-55-pmLastly; if you like, you can decorate the outside. You can add stickers, colorful tape or draw with permanent markers. You can also adorn the handle with streams of ribbon or yarn. This is a great way to recycle extra holiday wrapping and put it to a good use!

What else can you make? Check out these favorite posts from New Year’s Eves past.

New Year’s Eve Noise-Makers With Wrapping Paper Rolls http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/noisemakers-new-years-eve-craft/

bolang-gu-craft-versionBolang Gu – A Chinese Monkey Drum Craft https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Make Your Own Vuvuzela Stadium Horn https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716

kyra-plays-a-vuvuEverything But The Kitchen Sink Rattles  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/new-years-eve-noisemakers-recycled-rattles/

How To Make Bottle Cap Bangles For Recycled Musical Instruments

tambourine-with-zilsIf you’ve ever made a homemade tambourine or sistrum, you’ve probably wanted to use bangles like those seen on traditional middle eastern drums or instruments.  Technically, these round thin mini-cymbals are called zils.  You can see some lovely large zils on this antique tambourine from the Middle East.

If you’re crafting an instrument that uses these bangles, it’s easy to make a simple version of zils out of recycled bottle caps using a few tools that are handy around any home or garage.

bangles-work-areaWhat You Need

Metal bottle caps
Piece of Wood
Hammer
Large nail with a head
Safety Goggles

 

Safety First

Although this is a reasonably safe and easy project, it’s always a good idea to use caution.  Wearing safety goggles means that your eyes and face are protected if you accidentally hit the cap too hard and it bounces off the wooden work surface. In general, a good tip for this project is to use the hammer slowly and gently, tapping repeatedly until you get the desired results.

Set Up A Work Area

Set the piece of wood down either on the floor, the ground or a sturdy table.  Place the metal bottle cap (cap-side-up) and then position the large nail above it, directly in the center.  Gently tap until the nail has pierced the cap and reached down into the wood.  This creates the hole that will allow you to thread it onto whatever you are making.

Next, With cap-side-down, next gently strike all the edges of the bottle cap until it slowly flattens.  This can take 15, 20 or more gentle taps with the hammer.

bangles-from-bottle-capsNext, turn the bottle cap over.  Continue to tap the outer edges and the inner circle until all the sharp edges are flattened and pressed into the cap’s surface.  Although some recycled projects use the bottle caps in their original form – such as the wooden sistrum from Africa seen below – flattening the bangles makes them safer to handle and use in any project.

If you’re doing this project with very small children, you might wish to create the bangles in advance and focus more on how the children can string the bangles plus other rattling objects onto their craft instrument.

giveaway-wooden-sistrum-africaWondering what else you could add to a tambourine or sistrum project?  In addition to bottle cap zils, you can add paper clips, buttons, jingles, beads or pull tabs from soda cans.  Remember, while you’re reducing, reusing and recycling, you’re also teaching kids to limit their use of resources but never limit their imagination or creativity!

And that’s a win/win for everyone!

Links and Resources

Color An Ancient Egyptian Sistrum  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Ancient Instruments – Make Your Own Egyptian Sistrum https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Egyptian-Sistrum-Rattle-1617163

Ancient Instruments From The Middle East, Kids Mini-Lesson https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-From-The-Middle-East-Mini-Lesson-2127995

Take A Nature Walk – Make An Instrument!

sistrums-sticksAutumn is such a great time to take a nature walk with your child!  Maybe you have a wooded backyard or a park nearby?  Or perhaps there is a natural area near your home where you can enjoy the changing seasons.

As you take a walk in nature, look for any stick or small branch that’s formed in the shape of a “Y”.   If you find one, you can take it home and make a wonderful little musical instrument that actually dates back to ancient Egypt.

What Is A Sistrum

sistrum-posterSistrums are rattles that are found all over the world.  This clever little percussion instrument starts with some sort of forked object and then has a string or wire running between the two forks. On the strings or wires are objects that rattle and clank, making a lovely noise when shook back and forth.  In ancient Egypt, sistrums was used as part of the Pharaoh’s court and can even be seen pictured in hieroglyphics!

Supplies

Small stick or branch
Sand paper (optional)
Sturdy twine or floral wire
Colorful yarn
Noise-making Objects – buttons, beads, jingles, paper clips,
Recycled noise-making objects – soda tabs, bottle caps, compressed bottle tops (our next post will show you how to make and use these safely to avoid sharp edges).

Start with the Stick!

Once you’ve found a sturdy stick or branch that’s shaped like the letter “Y”, you making-sistrums-peace-valleymight want to take a bit of sandpaper and sand down any rough edges.  Then take the sturdy twine or floral wire and secure it to one side of the “Y”.  Now add any of rattling objects and hold the wire in place without wrapping it on the other side.  Check to see if you like the sound it creates.  If you do, then wrap the wire or twine securely in place.  If not, experiment with adding or removing objects to get the sound you like.

Here’s a hint, less objects often make a more pleasing sound!

Add extra strings of noise-makers if you like.

wooden-sistrumMaking It Unique

After creating the noise-making part of the rattle, you may wish to decorate the handle or the sides with colorful yarn, woven bands, electrical tape or even painting or adding other decorations. This is a very open-ended project and you can be very creative with it!

Learn About The History Of The Sistrum

If you want to tie this project into a study of world cultures, you can check out the Ancient Instruments of the Middle East kids music mini-course.  Or simply have fun with the Egyptian coloring page.  Links and other resources are below.  Happy crafting and music-making!

Links and Resources

Free Coloring Page – Egyptian Sistrum  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Ancient Instruments of the Middle East  kids music mini-course https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-From-The-Middle-East-Mini-Lesson-2127995

Free Doumbek (Middle Eastern Drum) Poster and Coloring Page https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Middle-Eastern-Drums-Doumbek-Background-Coloring-Page-2049118

5 Musical Activities With Directions In Spanish

actividades

Are you part of a bilingual school, preschool or cultural center?  Would directions to some exciting musical projects in Spanish make a fun addition to your classroom or enrichment activities?

Although we don’t have all our activities and posts in Spanish, here are some of our reader’s favorites, especially for making and playing with young children.

Make a Roly-Poly Thing!  -  Construye Una Cosita Musical Que Rueda https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/construye-una-cosita-musical-que-rueda/

Make Your Own Gong!  -  ¡Haz tu propio gong!  https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/haz-tu-propio-gong/

Make Your Own Recycled Shaker Eggs – Haz tus propios huevos sonajeros reciclados  https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/haz-tus-propios-huevos-sonajeros-reciclados/

Making Rattles With Recycled Materials – Haciendo Sonajeros De Materiales Recicladas https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/haciendo-sonajeros-de-materiales-recicladas/

Make Some Marvelous Maracas – ¡Preparemos unas maravillosas maracas! https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/preparemos-unas-maravillosas-maracas/

Irish Music For Kids!

St. Patrick’s Day is on the way!

Holidays are a wonderful time to explore both music and world cultures with your young child. Here’s a super-easy kids drum craft for St. Patrick’s Day – a drum that originally was a farm sieve for separating grain!  A kid’s size bodhran (pronounced bow-ran) can be easily made from a pie tin or a metal take-out container. And definitely make the “tipper”, too. It’s a special kind of drum beater that is tapped back and forth and it great for teaching motor skills to kids!  Step-by-step directions can be found in the tutorial below from the TPT website.

What do the classic Irish symbols mean? Naturally, you’ll recognize shamrocks as symbols of Celtic Knot USEgood luck. The Celtic Cross often represents religion and spirituality. A harp is often pictured because it is the national instrument of Ireland and the Claddagh (two hands joined by a crowned heart) is a beautiful symbol that represents the bonds of friendship, love and loyalty.

Wondering what a bodhran looks or sounds like? Watch these three young boys showing off their formidable drumming and Irish dancing skills. Plus, feel free to check out our round-up of Irish music-related crafts and posts for kids, listed below.

Links and Resources

MYO Bodhran and Tipper Tutorial: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Irish-Drum-Make-and-Play-Your-Own-Bodhran-and-Tipper-2410657

Whistle a Merry Tune – With A Tin Whistle http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/whistle-a-merry-tune-with-a-tin-whistle/

Morris Dancing Bells For Kids
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/easy-morris-dancing-bells-for-children/

Easy Introduction to 10 Irish Instruments
https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/an-easy-introduction-to-irish-instruments/

Irish Videos on Multicultural Kids Music Vids
http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?cat=512

EGG-citing Crafts for Spring!

Pysanky YES!

About this time of year we like to share our one non-music related craft!  It’s a child’s version of Ukrainian eggs.  You can find the complete step-by-step directions here:

pysanky removing waxhttp://www.tinytappingtoes.com/family-fun-2/simple-pysanky-ukrainian-easter-eggs-a-beautiful-spring-craft/

And since we’ve got eggs and Easter eggs on our mind, here’s a fun, absolutely child-safe version of shaker eggs that are a great way to add music to any Springtime celebration.

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/tag/shaker-eggs/

Here’s wishing you a happy Springtime and lots of egg-citing times!

New Year’s Eve Noisemakers – Recycled Rattles!

recycled new years eve rattlesRing in the New Year – with recycled rattles!

While you’re wrapping up one year and preparing for a new one, here’s our second post in a series of fun and easy noise-makers for enjoying New Year’s Eve with children.

I often call these “everything except the kitchen sink” rattles, because you get to use whatever supplies that are left over from the holidays or from craft projects during the year gone by.

Start With A Clear Container

Check your recycling bin for nice sturdy clear plastic containers, such as bottles from iced tea or liter sodas. Rinse them then set them up side down to dry. Meanwhile, go on a treasure hunt for rattle fillings.

Loud Rattles, Quiet Rattles

Here are some of our favorite supplies for making truly loud rattles: large dried pasta, dried beans, buttons, large beads, or pebbles. For quieter rattles, look for smaller objects such as birdseed, rice, Q-tips, cut-up straws, paper clips, small buttons or beads and tiny pasta such as acini de pepe.

Add Some Color And Bling!

If you have extra holiday supplies on hand you can add jingle bells, glitter, confetti or colorful paper shreds to give a festive look to your New Years Eve rattles. You can also reuse ribbon and wrapping for colorful handles.

Seal The Rattle

Always remember to be child-safe and seal the completed rattles with a sturdy tape such as electrical or washi tape. That way, they can be lots of fun without presenting a hazard from the smaller contents inside the rattle.

Stay Tuned For Monkey Drums And Stadium Horns!

Our next post will be a fun variation on the Chinese bolang gu or monkey drum, plus a DIY vuvuzela stadium horn.

Honk if you’re hoping for a happy New Year!

vuvu brazil Links and Resources

Recycle Holiday Supplies Into Noise-makers http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/noisemakers-new-years-eve-craft/

Bolang Gu – Chinese Monkey Drum Craft https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Make Your Own Vuvuzela Stadium Horn https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716