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Toddler Talk: Homemade Instruments

Music makes Ramona happy. She loves to dance to the records I put on and loves even more when we sing songs with hand motions together. She’s started trying to sing along to songs and even seems to make some up as she goes. And at the dinner table, she likes to drum along the side of the table. All of these interests gave me the idea of putting some instruments in her hand—to encourage her rhythm and beat-making!

There are some great children's instruments on the market, but making them from items laying around the house is a fun way to be resourceful, save some money and show Ramona how these instruments work by putting them together.

So this weekend we made two instruments together for our two-person band. Shakers (so easy!) and a kazoo (so silly!). Together, we got to sit and make noise and be goofy and add some more sounds to our favorite songs.

What you need for the kazoo:

-paper towel roll

-wax paper

-rubber band


1. Trim the length of the paper towel roll. I took off about 1/3 of its length.

2. Punch a hole near one end of the paper towel roll.

3. On that same end, secure wax paper over the opening with a rubber band.

4. Let loose, and hum in the open end!

What you need for the shaker:

-empty glass jar with lid

-small, hard objects such as unpopped popcorn, small pebbles, dried lentils, etc.


1. Put the popcorn in the jar and secure the top

2. Shake, shake, shake!

3. Mix it up by trying different sized jars or bottles with different amounts of popcorn in it

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