If you want to provoke your children's interest in music, or if your children are begging for a violin but you want to avoid listening to the sounds of a wailing cat, then make pretend violins out of cardboard for your children to play with. This craft will only take a few hours to complete and will interest young children in music, without forcing you to sacrifice your sanity or spend money on a toddler-size violin that your child will tear up in a matter of days.
Choose a piece of cardboard that measures at least 60 cm (2 feet) long by 30 cm (1 foot) wide and draw the outline of a violin onto this piece. Include the neck and body of the violin; you may want to look at photos online of violins or trace a real violin for the shape and then scale down the size for a child.
Cut out the violin outline with a utility knife. Work slowly with a sharp utility knife to produce the best cuts without jagged edges.
Paint the front and back of the cardboard violin with acrylic paint. You can stick with one solid colour or make the body and neck two different colours, or even decorate the body and neck of the violin. You could also let your children decorate their violin themselves before you add the strings to the cardboard violin.
Cut four rubber bands in half to produce four elastic pieces. Staple one end of each of the four pieces onto the end of the pretend violin neck, then stretch the rubber bands down to the middle of the violin body and secure the other ends of each rubber band with a staple. Go back and add a couple more staples to both ends of each rubber band to prevent it from ripping loose as easily.
Cut out a strip of cardboard measuring 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) wide and 30 cm (1 foot) long to serve as the bow for the violin. You may paint this part of the violin too, if you want.
Show the children how to play with the cardboard violin by showing them how a real violin is played. Teach them how to hold the cardboard violin against their necks while holding the violin neck in their hand. Teach them how violinists pull the bow across the strings of the violin in order to produce sound.