Learning with Homemade Musical Instruments


Music is not only made from professionally manufactured instruments. You and your children can create the wonderful sounds of music from homemade instruments. Kids will enjoy the activity of crafting their instrument, and you can even squeeze in some related learning about the instruments themselves or general music appreciation tidbits.

After creating the instrument, the fun really begins by making some noise. It doesn't matter what they sound like; it is all in the act of doing it. The smile on their face is priceless and makes the musical noise sound wonderful, even if they haven’t quite figured out rhythm and tempo yet.

Make a Drum

You will need:

  • Can with a lid (large coffee can would be perfect but can use whatever you have around the house)
  • Coloured paper
  • Crayons and/or markers
  • Scotch tape


  1. Cover the can with the paper.
  2. Tape it on as good as you can.
  3. Decorate it with crayons and/or markers.
  4. Start drumming with your hands or find some drumstick-like objects like wooden spoons or pencils.


Make a Shaker

You will need:

  • Can with cover (pringles can would work perfectly)
  • Rice, dry beans or beads
  • Paint
  • Paint brush


  1. Open the can and put rice, beans or beads in it.
  2. Put cover back on.
  3. Paint the can any colour or design you want.
  4. Let it dry then give it a try!


Make Maracas

You will need:

  • Plastic water bottle with lid
  • Rice, dry beans or popcorn kernels
  • Masking tape
  • Paint


  1. Take cover off the bottle and fill ¾ of the way with rice, beans or kernels.
  2. Put cover on securely.
  3. Wrap the whole bottle horizontally from top to bottom with the masking tape.
  4. Paint it any color or designs that you want.
  5. Let it dry and shake it up high!


This is a great activity to lead into a music study. Go and get the sample lesson from our course Great Musicians (recommended for 1st – 3rd grades) and share the love of music!

Want more ideas for DIY musical instruments? Check out our Homemade Musical Instruments Pinterest board.


"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).