Quick & Simple Musical Instruments

music instrument making

Recyclable Fun!

This is by far some of the easiest things I have made. DIY simple musical instruments were a real hit with Liam. He spent a good deal of time playing these instruments and they have even found their way to his music table where they have a new home. We were exploring the letter M for music and tried a few activities centered around listening to music, painting to music and of course creating simple musical instruments.

Musical Instrument Making Set Up

I set up an invitation to make music on his work table!


Simple materials and supplies from around the house or dollar store!


ย Free play!

I found him experimenting all by himself while I was busy. It is always so rewarding to catch these glimpses of independent play and enjoyment. I really like to encourage him to explore the activity before we get started and he actually played like this for quite a bit!


How to make simple musical instruments

Homemade Guitar

We started off with a homemade guitar! To make our simple musical instruments, we turned a simple dollar store bread pan into a guitar. His little hands helped put the elastic bands around the tin. He liked selecting the colors and the order and he was very proud of the end result. To date he has shown many people his homemade guitar!


Great skills work to put the rubber bands over the bread pan too!


Lots of strumming going on around here!


Plain and simple fun. Homemade musical instruments rock!


Shaker Drums

If you are going to make simple musical instruments, then you have to make shaker tin can drums! Yay for the recycling bin and black bean cans! ย  I am hoping to make more out of our recycling materials this year since these were easy and fun to do. We have the type of can opener that cuts around the side for smoother edges but they still weren’t all that smooth and did poke through the balloons a couple of times so you may put a bit of tape around the edges. I also doubled the balloon and that worked okay. ย He enjoyed decorating the paper to go around the can with stick figures of us. I had alphabet pasta and dried beans to pour into each can and then we stretched balloons over the top (bottoms cut off) and put elastic bands around them. Finish it off with a pair of chopsticks and you have a shaker and a mini drum!


Great way to express artistic creativity and personalize these simple musical instruments!


Simple fillers make for great shaking!


A little skills practice pouring the pasta into the cans!


Time to shake away!


This kept him busy and excited for quite a while and he is still quite proud of his simple musical instruments!



The expression on his face is priceless!

We also made our own rain stick! (post here)

rain stick activity

and we painted to music! We are listening to our Music Together Drum Collection CD

music painting


  1. He had the best time with them and still plays with them espite the other pricey instruments he has!

  2. I can’t believe how much my son liked these over his regular store bought instruments!

  3. Thanks! I am not the craftiest person and my son is not the most interested craftiest person so it was the best of both!

  4. Those can shakers are my favorite!! These look wonderful–I just shared them on my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page! Thanks so much for linking up to Teach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets!!

  5. Yeah! Thanks for the share. He has really enjoyed them far more than I imagined and he shows everyone when they come over.

  6. Yes, I had seen both too. Sadly, I don’t own one of these pans so I now I have one from the dollar store!

  7. OMGsh, I haven’t made instruments with my kids in ages. Thanks for the reminder and some new awesome ideas ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing

  8. So fun!! We love making musical instruments and playing music at my house too. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  9. n! I love the rubber band and bread pan guitar! Thanks for linking up to Magic Moments Monday. Hope to see you back next month!

  10. Thank you. He still has it on his music table and it is good practice when the bands come off!

  11. My daughter would- cancel that- WILL love this. We have all the ingredients for these! I second what Jessica said, thanks for sharing at Magic Moments Mondays, pinning to our pinterest board now! Hope to see you again this month!

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