Kids love creating things. That’s one reason STEM activities are always so popular.
And kids love music.
Making musical instruments is a fun way to mix the two in a simple Making Musical Instruments STEM Challenge.
Actually, this STEM activity is really STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math). But whatever you call it, it is fun for kids of all ages.
This musical instrument stem challenge is easily modified for different ages and levels.
For older kids you could put stipulations on their creation, such as it has to incorporate at least 3 different items. They may also enjoy decorating their instruments.
Younger children will have fun exploring the different materials as they get creative.
Making a music instrument and having a mini band would be a fun backyard summer camp idea.
Making Musical Instruments STEAM
You could use a wide variety of materials for this activity. I’ve included a list of suggested materials to get you started. Affiliate links have been used for your convenience at no added expense to you.
- craft sticks
- pipe cleaners
- plastic lids in various sizes
- empty plastic bottles
- plastic drinking straws
- small cardboard box
- empty metal can
- dried rice, beans, or pasta
- plastic and/or wood spoons
- cardboard toilet paper/paper towel tubes
- rubber bands
Depending on how many objects you choose to include and how many kids are participating in the activity, you might choose to put them all in a large container, such as an empty box or clothes basket.
This way the kids can pick and choose from all the objects to create their own musical instruments.
Or you can pick 4-5 different types of objects and place them in a small paper bag. Give a bag to each child (or pair of kids) and challenge them to create musical instruments using only the materials in their bag.
No matter how you set up this musical STEAM activity, it is highly likely that a drum is one of the first things they will create.
Whether its plastic lids, an empty tin can, or a cardboard box, pretty soon they will be banging out a rhythm all their own.
The fun part is seeing just how creative the kids get when making musical instruments of their own.
We started off with plastic lid drums and some dried beans in a bottle as a shaker.
Pretty soon they were experimenting with how many different ways they could make music with craft sticks.
They made rhythm sticks by wrapping one craft stick with yarn and rubbing it with another stick. A pipe cleaner held 2 other craft sticks together to create a slapping sound when they were pulled apart.
This simple make a musical instrument STEM activity is fun for kids of all ages.
Once the kids have finished experimenting, it’s the perfect time for them to try playing a tune together. You may even have an impromptu marching band!
You may also enjoy:
- 15 Musical Instrument Crafts for Kids from Red Ted Art
- 10 Musical Instruments Kids Can Make from Planning Playtime
- Design a Boat that Floats STEM Challenge
- Create Your Own Marble Run STEM Activity