Music provides many benefits for children. Not only does it increase academic achievement by stimulating the same parts of the brain responsible for language, math, and social-emotional development, but it can improve memory and confidence.
Giving children a musical edge doesn’t have to become a financial burden. To accompany a collection of high quality wooden instruments, children can create their own from recycled materials and everyday craft supplies.
Use yogurt tubs, oatmeal containers, cookie tins, or wooden boxes to create drums. In the kitchen, children may enjoy pounding on stainless steel mixing bowls, muffin tins, or aluminum pie pans. Scour thrift shops for anything interesting that can be used to create music. Outside, invite your child to drum on garbage cans, tree trunks, and rocks. Can they keep a steady beat?
Rhythm sticks can be created from dowel rods, sticks, rolled paper, or clay. Try painting wood with liquid watercolors to create a bright, tie dyed effect! To make a shaker, simply fill a water bottle, box, or plastic bag with corn, rice, or beans.
A variety of wind instruments can easily be crafted from paper towel rolls, wrapping paper tubes, washi tape, glue and buttons. Try repurposing a toy, such as a marble run, to create a wild, wacky horn!
Kids love to pretend they are in a marching band as they play their homemade instruments! Play a song and challenge them to match the tempo with their instruments, or invite them to compose their own. The options for play and learning are endless!
Melissa Lennig is the author of Fireflies and Mud Pies, a children’s activity blog that inspires childhood through imagination, art, and nature. Connect with Melissa through Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.