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Music with Recyclable Items
Type: Music   Skills: Physical & Motor SkillsPlay & CreativitySocial & Emotional Skills
This activity will show you and your kids how to make musical instruments out of recyclables you have around the house. Music with Recyclable Items
What We Learn
Sound discrimination
Motor development
Musical creativity
Supply List
Coffee cans
Cookie tins
Egg cartons
Empty plastic bottles
Pebbles or sand or bird seed
Rubber bands
Cereal boxes
Wooden or metal spoons
Masking tape or duct tape
CD or cassette of marching band music
In the days and weeks before you begin the activity, save up your recyclables. Ask parents and family members to bring in coffee cans, egg cartons, water bottles and other sorts of recyclable materials. If any recyclables are dirty, be sure to clean and rinse them off.

Once youíve gathered enough materials, set up an area with your recyclables where the children can access all the materials and still have room to work to make their own instrument.

Introduce children to the activity by describing how they will be able to make their own musical instruments. Discuss how there are many kinds of instruments in a band and ask each child to decide which instrument he or she wants to make. Then demonstrate how each child can use the recyclable items to create their own instrument.

For instance, you can take an empty plastic ketchup bottle or salad bottle and place some bird seed or pebbles in it. Seal the top with masking tape or duct tape and youíve created a shaker instrument.

You can take an empty tissue box and wrap three or four rubber bands around it over the empty hole and youíve created a guitar-like instrument. The kids can pluck at the rubber bands like the strings of a guitar.

You can create a horn-like instrument by taking a paper towel roll and covering it with aluminum foil or construction paper. Then attach a styrofoam bowl to one end of it. Cut a hole in the styrofoam bowl so it fits over the end of the towel roll.

You can easily create cymbals by simply covering paper plates or bowls with aluminum foil.

You can create a drum by simply using a cookie tin. You can cover one side with construction paper to help vary the sounds the drum can make. The side covered with construction paper will create a more muffled sound.

You can even create a portable drum set. Take various sizes of tin cans and trace their outline on a medium-sized box. Cut holes in the box so that the tin cans will fit through one side of the box. Place the cans through the holes, but position them so that at least some part of the tin can is still extending through the box. Affix the cans with masking tape or duct tape, so the cans donít fall out. The various cans will produce different noises when the child hits them with a wooden or metal spoon. Tie a rope around two ends of the box, so that the child can march around with the new set of drums.
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