How to Make Musical Instruments for Kids

Musical Can Activity

Take an everyday coffee can and make beautiful music.
Take an everyday coffee can and make beautiful music.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

This musical can craft will certainly help kids keep the beat. The magic of music is not just in the tune; it's in the rhythm. This coffee can trio of rhythm instruments can help kids play along with any of their favorite songs.

What You'll Need:

  • Three small metal coffee cans with lids
  • White paper
  • Colored markers
  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Measuring cup
  • Uncooked pinto beans
  • Popcorn (that has not been popped)
  • Uncooked rice
  • Heavy-duty tape

Step 1: Wash and dry the coffee cans.

Step 2: Decorate three sheets of paper with colorful drawings of musical notes or fun shapes. You can also use old magazines to cut out pictures of your favorite musical legends or stars, and glue them on the paper.

Step 3: Glue your design to the outside of the coffee can, covering the brand name and logo.

Step 4: Now put one half cup of uncooked pinto beans in a can, one half cup of uncooked popcorn in another, and one half cup of uncooked rice in the third.

Step 5: Pop on the plastic lids, and make sure they are securely in place. Tape the lids in place with heavy-duty tape. Now it's time to shake, shake, shake your way to musical adventure.

Notice how different the sounds inside each can are, thanks to the different shapes and densities of the contents.

Kids will go "pluck wild" for the fish line music board on the next page.

For more fun crafts and activities, try: