Recycled Musical Fun: 14 Great Instruments That You Can Make And Play At Home

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All over the world people make music in the most interesting ways.   You might be surprised at the great instruments that you can craft at home based on many of these simple world music instruments.    Best of all, these activities all use recycled, on-hand materials.   From a pow-wow style drum your kids will love to play, to an African shekere to made-at-home maracas, you can create enough instruments here for some serious jamming!  And you just might discover some hidden talents in your family or friends as you create your own childrens music.

childrens music

So, if want to celebrate Earth Day with a silly song or if you’re looking for some creative and crafty musical fun, try your hand at some of these great activities below that come from the Parent’s Choice Award-winning website –

How to Make Instruments:


Materials: pvc piping or long gift wrap paper tube, materials for decoration


Materials: sturdy cardboard, manila folder, materials for decoration

String Thing

Materials: sturdy metal or plastic box, rubber bands in various sizes


Materials: plastic water bottle with ridges, unsharpened pencil, hair pick or used chopstick (as scraper), materials for decoration

Pow-Wow Drum

Materials: large piece of sturdy material (such as vinyl), materials for decoration

Make a Drum Beater

Materials: long stick, electrical tape, materials for decoration

Cajón (box drum)

Materials: sturdy cardboard box, materials for decoration


Materials: Recycled milk jug, stickers, about a handful of any small material such as rice, birdseed or dried macaroni


Materials: two small plastic water bottles, two toilet paper tubes, about a handful of any small material such as rice, birdseed or dried macaroni, electrical tape

Recycled Rattles – Nature Walk Rattles

Materials: any clear recycled container, any items found on a nature walk, electrical tape


Materials: either a wire coat hanger or a tree branch shaped like a \”y\”, jewelry wire or any thin wire, beads, jingles, buttons or other \”jangley\” objects.


Materials: large roasting pan, pipecleaners, large tube from gift wrap or large stick, stick (ruler or unsharpened pencil) for the beater, electrical tape, materials for decoration

Cajita  (little box percussion instrument)

Materials: cigar box, wooden dowel, small cabinet knob, materials for decoration


Materials: small pieces of wood, bobby pins, push pins, glue

Ocean Drum

Materials: any shipping box, small piece of sturdy plastic or vinyl, packing tape, about a handful of any small material such as rice, birdseed or dried macaroni, materials for decoration
Now that we have shared resources that show you how to make instruments, which one will you be making as we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd?


  1. My little Priscilla goes to Kindermusik each week and just loves it. So I know she would love some homemade instruments. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. Tara@Tales of a Trophy WIfe says:

    My kids did a music class when they were younger. There favorite part was always the instruments.

  3. I love this list! I think it’s such a great idea to let kids experiment with all sorts of instruments. Thanks for compiling it!

  4. Oh wow what a great round up of musical instruments. Definitely one to book mark and come back to!

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy & Alissa

  5. What a great selection of musical instrument posts! Thanks so much for sharing on the kids weekly coop!

  6. Wow! What a great list of musical instruments! Hope it’s okay to pin this fab list.

  7. Thanks for linking up with FreeBEE Fridays. We also enjoy making instruments out of recycled materials.

  8. What fun! Music is one of my weak areas, so I love ideas to for impromptu musical projects. Thank you for gathering these up. ;0)

  9. Children love music and will love creating personalized musical instruments. Encourage them to help the environment and save some money by turning recycled items in your home into musical instruments. There are a variety of instruments that children can make without guidance from adults. Encourage your children to create a band using the instruments they have created.

    Read more: How to Make Musical Instruments From Recyclables |

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