How to Make Musical Instruments for Your Young Children: Ideas for Making Musical Instruments with Household Items

These ideas for homemade musical instruments are all cheap and easy to make. Use them with your toddler to develop an understanding of rhythm and beat, provide mental stimulation and develop co-ordination skills. They will foster a love for music and, later on, will facilitate the transition to ‘serious’ musical instruments.


  • Spoons
  • Metal pots and pans
  • Glasses
  • Ceramic Bowls
  • Water
  • Comb
  • Wax paper
  • Paper tube
  • Chop sticks
  • Rubber bands
  • Wooden box
  • Plastic bottles
  • Dry beans or colored beads
  • Bells
  • Glue

Drums using spoons, pots and pans

Spoons, pots, and pans can be used as they are. Spread out pots and pans on the floor, arm your toddler with a couple of spoons and let him or her bang and clatter away to their heart’s content. Show him or her how switching from spoons to chop sticks can change the sound. You can, of course, show your young drummer how to make more musical sounding noises.


Shakers are less noisy and good to keep your toddler occupied as he or she wanders about the house. Take small plastic bottles and fill them up with dry beans or colored beads. You can then put the caps back on or, to be on the safer side, glue the bottle threads before replacing the caps; you don’t want to risk your toddler opening the bottle and swallowing the contents.

Water xylophone

Arrange glasses and bowls in a row and fill them up with increasing or decreasing levels of water. Every glass or bowl should have a different water level. Now take a spoon or a chop stick and show your toddler how to gently tap the glass and bowl rims and sides. Encourage your toddler to discover how many kinds of sounds can be produced from this arrangement.


Take a clean comb and fold a piece of wax paper over its teeth. Show your toddler how to hum against the paper to make sounds.


Take a small wooden box and stretch several rubber bands over it lengthwise. Strumming the rubber bands should produce some interesting sounds.


Glue waxed paper over one end of a paper tube and make holes in the wax paper covering. Show your toddler how to put the open end of the paper tube to the mouth and hum into the tube.


Buy small bells and string them up in a ribbon or on a ring. Shake them to make music.


Encourage your toddler to sing favorite songs and rhymes to his or her own musical accompaniment.