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Child's Play
....sharing information & ideas!

Music Theme
Make Your Own Merry Little Band!

Coffee Can Drum
You will need: empty coffee can with plastic lid, construction paper, glue, markers, clear contact paper, drum sticks (chopsticks work great) Cover the outside of the coffee can with construction paper and decorate with markers! Apply clear contact paper around the covered can. Glue the plastic lid on the can. 

Flute on a Roll
You will need: empty toilet paper/paper towel roll, wax paper, markers, rubber band, pencil (or dowel) Poke 3-4 holes in roll with the pencil about 1' apart. Decorate roll, if desired, with   markers. Cut a piece of wax paper 4" square. Wrap over one end of the roll and secure with the rubber band. 

Musical Mitts
You will need: stretch knit gloves/mitts, jingle bells (4-5 per glove), needle & thread, sequins (if desired) Sew bells to glove/mitten back. Add colorful sequins to decorate if you wish. Slip on both gloves and clap....or put on one and shake to jingle!

Rhythm Sticks
2 dowel rods (approx. 12 inches long, each)

Any local hardware store will have dowel rods in various sizes (widths & lengths).  Choose the size you like best.  Ask the hardward to cut it to the length you want!  The kids can beat them together to go along with the music.  You may want to add designs with paint or felt markers.

For an interesting sound effect, saw grooves into one or both ends of the sticks and rub them across each other or beat them together.

Paper Cup Shaker
Decorate two paper or styrofoam cups.  Add dry beans, and tape the two cups together. 

Roll Shaker
Decorate a cardboard paper roll.  Fill with beans, beads or rice.  Cover ends with cellophane or wax paper.  Secure paper on ends with an elastic or tape. 

Gourd Maraca
Cut a small hole in a dried gourd.  Put in a little rice, seeds or dry beans.  Fill the hole with a bit of white, regular toothpaste or polyfiller.  Paint the gourd with tempera paint if you wish.

Musical Glasses
The "Glass Harmonica" is a real instrument used in some orchestras, but you can have fun creating your very own!

4 - 8 large drinking glasses or glass bottles
water (add food coloring if you wish!)

Fill the glasses with varying amounts of water.  Gently rub a wet finger around the rim of each glass.  Each glass makes its own unique sound.  Pour out or add some water to some of the glasses to change their sounds.  Make up your own tunes!

Another way to play the Musical Glasses is to gently tap the side of the glass with a spoon.  If you use glass bottles, you can make another sound by blowing across the top of each one.  Listen for the difference in sounds when tapping and blowing.

Paper Plate Tambourines I
2 9" paper plates
crayons, felt tip pens, tempera or acrylic paint, watercolors
jingle bells
rice, shelled corn, small pebbles, small beads, dried beans or peas
yarn, narrow ribbon or pipe cleaners
glue, hole punch

Color or paint a design on the bottom of the plates.  Allow to dry completely.  Punch holes about 2" apart all around the rim of one plate and attach a jingle bell at each hole with yarn, ribbon or pipe cleaners.  Place a handful of rice or other dried item into the center of one of the plates.  Glue the paper plates together at the rim so that the decorated side is facing out.

Tip:  Add crepe paper streamers to the tambourine.  Glue a strip of crepe paper (about 1" x 9") between each punched hole before gluing the plates together.

Paper Plate Tambourines II
2 paper plates (any size)
dried beans, rice or beads
colorful ribbon or yarn

Decorate backs of plates with paint, markers, stickers, stamps....(allow paint to dry completely before completing next step).  With plates facing each other, punch holes (1/2 to 3/4 inches apart) around the edge of the plates.  Cut enough long pieces of ribbon/yarn to tie in each hole...leaving the tails trailing down.  Or run a long length of ribbon/yarn through the holes around the plates...and tie off, leaving a tail.

Pop Bottle Shakers
Use an empty, plastic soda bottle (16oz. or 20oz.) for each child. Clean the bottles and remove the labels. Have each child pour several spoonfuls of popcorn kernels into his bottle. Hot glue the lid to the bottle. To decorate the shakers, have each child use a paint brush and thinned glue to add various colors of tissue paper squares to the bottle.

Shoebox Guitar
Cut a large rectangle shape from the shoebox lid, leaving about an inch all around the inside edge of the lid.  Glue lid to bottom of box.  Paint and decorate the shoebox as desired.  Wrap several elastic bands around the box so that they are over the cut out area.  Secure the elastic bands in place with tape.  For extra security, you can also notch the box edges so that the elastic bands rest in the notches.

*Beary* special thanks to
Thanks, Grace!
and Graphic Garden (background only)
for the wonderful graphics on this page.

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