DIY Musical Instruments for Kids


DIY Instruments Recycled Craft

This post, DIY Musical Instruments for Kids, is sponsored by First 5 California. All opinions are 100% my own.

When I first became pregnant with Mia, I distinctly remember hearing about First 5 California. I recall learning how important the first five years of a child’s life is important and that 90% of a child’s brain develops in those first five years. That really stuck with me. Talk. Read. Sing. ® encourages parents to engage in talking, reading, and singing with your child on a regular basis. The way Mia and I incorporate this is through music. Drumming drums and rattling a shaker tells baby’s muscles to work together and make things happen.  These fine and gross motor skills are vital to a child’s development. So today, I want to share some simple tutorials for three DIY musical instruments for kids made from items you already have around the house.

DIY Musical Instrument #1: Drums


  • Tin Cans
  • Balloons
  • Scissors
  • Rubber Bands
  • Chopsticks

To make a set of drums, cut the long part of a balloon, leaving the bulb intact. Wrap the bulb around the top of a clean can and secure it with a rubber band. Use chopsticks, pencils, or even just your fingers and baby’s hands to drum on the top.  Tap to the beats of the rhythm of your favorite songs.

DIY Instruments

DIY Musical Instrument #2: Shaker


  • Empty Drink Container
  • Bottle Caps
  • Colorful Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape or Glue

Fill a clean and empty drink container with 8-10 bottle caps, dried macaroni, paperclips, or pennies.

DIY Instruments for Kids

Decorate the outside with paint or colored paper. If desired, tape or glue down the lid. Shake to the rhythm of the music.

DIY Instruments Shaker

DIY Musical Instrument #3: Castanets


  • Discarded Food Box
  • Jar Lids
  • Bottle Caps
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Make hand castanets with jar lids and finger castanets with bottle caps.

DIY Instruments Castanets


Cut a piece of cardboard from an unwanted food box and fold it in half. I lined ours with colored paper.

DIY Recycled Instruments

Glue the lid/bottle caps, on the inside on the folds.

DIY Musical Instruments

DIY Instruments Hand Castanets

DIY Instruments Finger Castanets

First 5 California is a great, free resource for information. I learned that speech and language development is critical in the first three years because the brain is best able to absorb that information, hence why it is so important to sing and play music!  I personally love the Activity Center. On it you will find things like tutorials on how to make musical instruments (obviously my favorite), how to create an obstacle course, and suggestions for playing with building blocks. Visit the Activity Center to find all these great ideas.

When you stop by First 5 California, be sure to visit the Video + Downloads tab for fun, interactive activities, messages from the President and First Ladies, and other videos showing how to promote brain development and learning! I hope you enjoyed my tutorials. Now you are fully equipped to Talk. Read. Sing. ® with your child!

DIY Musical Instruments for Kids

DIY Instruments Drums

DIY Musical Instruments DIY Inspired

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