Musical Instrument Crafts for Kids

During our calendar time, we always have a time for songs and playing musical instruments.  It’s one of Luke and Lilah’s favorite parts of calendar time, and they really get into it!  I’ve been impressed by how much their rhythm has improved just from this simple activity, and I think it’s also had a big impact on their ability to hear the sounds in words, which in turn, is a BIG part of early literacy and beginning reading.  For our music time, we have a whole basket filled with various music making tools, but some of our favorites are homemade: like our rain stick sensory bottle, our xylophone, and our rhythm bells.  Not only do the kids love these musical instruments, they were really fun crafts for us to make together as well!

Musical Instrument Crafts for Kids

musical instrument crafts

We have made several musical instrument crafts.  The first we made was a sensory bottle rain stick.  It’s now about a year old, but still works like the day we made it.  My youngest especially loves this one and plays with it at least for a minute or two on most days.  It makes such a soothing sound!  You can read all the directions for making it here: DIY Sensory Bottles: Rain Stick.

musical instrument crafts

Just recently, we were given the opportunity to review a new Kiwi Crate: Making Music, which was created in partnership with Carnegie Hall.  I knew it’d be a big hit with Luke and Lilah based on the past Kiwi Crate we had done.  They love it from the minute they get special mail delivered to our doorstep, and they can’t wait to open the box to see what’s inside!

musical instrument crafts

The Making Music crate gave us the opportunity to create a xylophone and two rhythm bell bracelets / anklets.  I love the teamwork my two used to get the work done!

musical instrument crafts

Here’s our finished xylophone:

musical instrument crafts

My favorite part about the xylophone is that after you have the whole instrument put together, you can craft your own song and learn to play it.  

musical instrument crafts

It’s done in a VERY kid-friendly way and both of my kids loved writing their own song.  They practiced it over and over until they could play it well!  

musical instrument crafts

I have to admit I was very impressed with the xylophone craft!

musical instrument crafts

The second activity in the Making Music Kiwi Crate was rhythm bells.  There are materials to make both a bracelet and an anklet, or if you’re using one kit for two kids like we were, there are enough materials so that each kid can make their own!  Phew!

musical instrument crafts

The kids colored their beads.  This proved a difficult task for little fingers as the beads wanted to roll away, but we found that by sliding the beads onto a colored pencil, they were much easier to control!  Then the kids strung up their colored beads and bells onto an elastic string, which was a super fine motor activity that required careful concentration!  

musical instrument crafts

After the kids got their bells on, we turned on a kids’ Pandora radio station on the iPad and they danced and hopped and jumped and shook and ran along with the music for quite awhile.  Talk about a great gross motor activity!

musical instrument crafts musical instrument crafts












We left the new homemade musical instruments out for a few days where they continued to receive lots of kid attention, and we have now added them to our musical instruments basket for our calendar time activities.  I just love seeing the kids choosing the instruments they made over some of the store bought ones we have!  I love that they see value in their work!

Delightful kids' projects delivered right to your door.  <See Sample Crates>

Kiwi Crate makes kits mailed to your home in themes like art, science, crafts, and more for kids ages 3-7.  They offer monthly subscriptions, single crates like the Making Music one we tried out, party favors, DIY materials, and gift subscriptions.  You can also see some more sample crates.  

Single Crates now on Sale at Kiwi Crate! shop now ››

If you haven’t tried making musical instruments with your kids, I highly suggest it!  Kiwi Crate makes it easy to get started with their fun Making Music kit, or you can make some of your own from scratch, like our sensory bottle rain stick.  

Need some more ideas?  Check out Red Ted Art’s 15 Musical Instrument Crafts for kids!

Have you made musical instrument crafts with your kids?  

I’d love for you to share them on the In Lieu of Preschool Facebook page!

Disclosure: I received the Making Music kit to review from Kiwi Crate for free.  Included links are affiliate links.  I only accept and review products on my blog that interest me, my family, and that I think would interest you, my readers.  All opinions expressed on my blog are solely my own and are never influenced by compensation or free products.  

This post may contain affiliate links.

Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Faigie says:

    I once made maracas shakers with my class with paper mache. You blow up a balloon but before blowing it up, stick some beans in it. then paper mache over the balloon and when its all dried you stick a pin in to bust it and the balloon busts and the beans shake all around the inside. You’ll need to figure out how to get handles on them if you want em on

  • […] Wooden Xylophone by In Lieu of Preschool – What a neat idea!  I love the trick of using colours to help teach little ones to play music. […]

  • […] 15. Check out how crafts sticks can be used to play a homemade musical instrument like inlieu of preschool. […]

  • […] cookies (yep…I’m stretching here), x-rays (pretend or make your own), xylophone craft, make a xylophone, Letter “X” craft, play […]

  • How great to get the kids directly involved in musical engagement while learning about instruments through creating them. We love providing children with opportunities to build their own instruments. Lately, we’ve been experimenting with designing electronic instruments with the LittleBits Synth Kit – check it out – it is great for exploring sound and learning STEAM content!

  • Grace says:

    What were the materials you used for the xylophone?

  • What a great round up. My little boy is pretty much obsessed with making anything a musical instrument. he loves to make noise and especially loves playing with anything musical. These homemade instruments are quick and easy to make and based on simple recycled materials. My toddler is going to love these!. Thanks for sharing..

  • Dating says:

    I was just looking for this information for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative web sites in top of the list. Generally the top sites are full of garbage.

  • Technology says:

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today..

  • Business says:

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you actually know what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please additionally visit my website =). We may have a hyperlink alternate arrangement between us!

  • Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Wonderful. I’m also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  • Insurance says:

    I have to show some appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this particular circumstance. As a result of checking throughout the world-wide-web and meeting views that were not productive, I figured my entire life was over. Being alive without the presence of approaches to the difficulties you’ve fixed as a result of the site is a crucial case, and those which could have negatively damaged my entire career if I had not encountered your web site. Your personal mastery and kindness in touching all things was helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not discovered such a subject like this. I am able to now look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot so much for this impressive and sensible help. I won’t be reluctant to suggest your site to any person who needs and wants care on this area.

  • Insurance says:

    As a Newbie, I am continuously searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  • I keep listening to the rumor lecture about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

  • I simply couldn’t go away your website before suggesting that I extremely loved the usual info an individual provide in your visitors? Is going to be again continuously in order to inspect new posts

  • My wife and i have been so ecstatic when Michael managed to complete his analysis from your precious recommendations he grabbed in your site. It’s not at all simplistic to just continually be making a gift of points that other people have been making money from. And now we fully understand we’ve got you to appreciate for this. The most important explanations you have made, the simple site navigation, the friendships you help instill – it’s many unbelievable, and it’s making our son in addition to the family do think the matter is brilliant, which is certainly unbelievably important. Thanks for the whole thing!

  • Erica says:


    I’m a music teacher and I love the xylophone craft on this page. I’ve visited the affiliate links and can’t find the source to buy the supplies. Do you know where I can buy the kit, or get the specifications to make my own?


  • Kathleen Virmani says:

    Can you please tell me what you used for the xylophone slats and where did you find them? When you play this, can you hear the pitch well enough to match it with your voice? I want to do this with my 3rd grade Brownie Girl Scout troop.
    Thanks so much for providing so many good ideas!

  • I’ve been trying hard to make my son fall in love with musical instruments, without a doubt this is a good start, congratulations.

  • >