I’m not normally a big fan of homemade instruments. They can be great for a craft project but often pose a choking hazard for younger children. In addition, children may internalize the sound of an instrument and think that it doesn’t sound good because they’re not playing it right. That being said, classroom rules and health guidelines currently prevent sharing of instruments among children. You may be choosing to school from home and have limited access to high quality instruments.
Homemade egg shakers have a decent sound and it can be fun to fill them with a variety of media for different sounds. A little adhesive and decorative tape can seal them fairly securely. The eggs aren’t super sturdy however and should be used only with close supervision for younger children.
My favorite for homemade shakers are 12 oz pop bottles. The curved shape is easy to hold, even for little hands. The plastic is relatively sturdy and seems to be stronger than in the larger bottles. The bottles can be securely sealed. The clear bottles make it easy to see what is inside.
The set of shakers here is based on an activity in Exploring the Science of Sounds (available at your local library or here). The children can make guesses about what kinds of sounds the different fillings will make and how loud they are.
What are your favorite homemade isntruments?