Preschool Express Home Page
Market Station
Party Station
Toddler Station
Art Station
Game Station
Food Station
Discovery Station
Alphabet Station
Number Station
Skill Station
Music & Rhyme
Story Station
Celebration Station
Inspiration Station
Theme Station
Learning Station
Advice Station
Meet Jean Warren
About this Site
Site Reviews
Send this Site
to a friend




Helping to make and playing homemade instruments is a fun activity for preschoolers. Each child can make a different instrument or they all can make the same one. Here are some simple instruments to make.


BONGO DRUM – Tape together two empty circular oatmeal boxes and beat with your hands.

BASE DRUM – Turn a cooking pan over and beat on the bottom of it with a wooden spoon.
TRIANGLE – Tie a string around the top of a wire coat hanger and bend the hook closed. Hold onto the string and hit the hanger with a metal spoon.
GUITAR – Wrap rubber bands around a small sturdy topless box. Play by strumming your fingers across the rubber bands.
SHAKERS – Place rice or beans inside small plastic bottles or cups with lids. Secure the lids with tape if necessary.
WRIST BELLS – String three or four bells onto a chenille stem. Twist the ends together to form a bracelet.
FINGER CYMBALS – Punch two holes in two identical small jar lids. Then poke a small chenille stem through the holes and twist to make finger handles. Child puts one on each pointer finger and bangs them together.
METAL PAN CYMBALS – Have children bang metal pan lids together.
TAPPING STICKS – Let your children tap together two wooden dowels.


Show your children how to play the instruments.
Then, sing or play some familiar songs that they can play their instruments to.
Encourage them to listen for the beat of the song and match their strokes to the tempo of the music.

Put on some marching music.

Encourage your children to march around the room (or outdoors) playing their chosen instrument.
Go to the Music Station and look for Band Songs.
Jingle Wand
Hold five or six chenille stems together and tape them securely in place with electrician's tape or masking tape. Thread a jingle bell on the untaped end of each chenille stem. Twist the end of the chenille around to hold the bell in place. Let your child shake the Jingle Wand to make the bells jingle.
Plastic Shaker

Find a clean, empty plastic container with a screw-on lid, such as a peanut butter jar or a individual serving juice or milk bottle. Put a spoonful of rice or dried beans in the container. Put some glue around the edge of the container and screw the lid on tightly. Allow the glue to dry before shaking. Decorate with stickers or colorful masking tape.
Belt Drum
Collect a round box, such as an oatmeal box or a potato chip container. Carefully make two small slits, about 2 inches apart, near the top of the box. Thread the box onto a child's belt (or a shortened adult belt). Let your child play the Belt Drum with his or her hands or with unsharpened pencil "drum sticks."
Pot-and-Pan Band

Your child will love playing in this band. Set out a variety of metal pots and pans, as well as different "drum sticks," such as a wooden spoon, a metal spoon, a rubber spatula, a whisk, and a basting brush. Let your child experiment with the variety of sounds and tones he or she can make. You may even want to try clanging two metal pan lids together for cymbals.
Instrument Parade
Have your child select one of the instruments. Put on some lively music. Let your child play the instrument while marching from room to room. Every so often, let your child choose a different instrument to play while marching. If you wish, choose an instrument for yourself and join your child's Instrument Parade.