How to Make Children's Percussion Instruments

Written by gemma craig
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How to Make Children's Percussion Instruments
Easy-to-make kids percussion instrument (drum image by Vladislav Gajic from

Making percussion instruments with kids promotes what is known as creative movement. This could involve making music, dancing, or simply making a racket on the drums. Children love to play and move. The authors of the book "On the Move" say that creative movement is important in developing children's motor skills and mental conceptualisation, as well as aiding in social and emotional success. Percussion instruments for kids are simple crafts you can make from everyday household objects. Get creative in decorating the instruments. Kids love art and music and moving, and these homemade instruments provide them all.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 2 round coffee or oatmeal containers of different sizes with lids
  • Paints
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Sellotape
  • Craft paper or wrapping paper
  • Wide ribbon
  • 2 sturdy paper plates
  • Yarn or thin ribbon
  • Large beads or macaroni pasta
  • 2 plastic water bottles, dry with no labels
  • Rice
  • Colourful beads
  • Ribbons

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  1. 1

    Decorate the two coffee or oatmeal containers. Use paints directly on the containers, or use markers or crayons to decorate a piece of craft paper to wrap around each container. Fasten the craft paper with a bit of tape. Decorative wrapping paper will work for this, too.

  2. 2

    Tie the containers together with a piece of wide ribbon.

  3. 3

    Put the plastic lids on the containers and make some beats with your bongos.

    Paper Plate Shakers

  1. 1

    Punch holes around the edges of the two paper plates, about one hole every inch and a half.

  2. 2

    Decorate the bottoms of your plates with paints, markers or crayons.

  3. 3

    Place the plates together so the undecorated tops face each other.

  4. 4

    Weave the yarn or ribbon through the holes, sewing the plates together. Don't sew them together completely. Leave a few holes undone.

  5. 5

    Fill the space between the plates with beads or macaroni pasta and finish sewing them up.

    Water Bottle Maracas

  1. 1

    Put some rice and colourful beads in your water bottles, about 1/4 of the way full. This leaves enough room to shake the contents.

  2. 2

    Secure the caps on the bottles.

  3. 3

    Decorate the bottles by tying ribbons around the necks.

Tips and warnings

  • Add confetti or glitter inside the water bottle maracas for extra flair.

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