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Red monster playing musical instrument

Percussion Play Time

Create percussion instruments with your child and learn to make fun rhythms together.

At OMO, we believe that every stain represents an important experience - mud stains are the stamp of adventure, grass stains are the sign of exploration and fruit stains are the aftermath of discovery. Encourage your kids to get messy with our fun activities for happy, healthy, confident kids. We'll be there to sort out the dirty clothes afterwards.

Percussion Play Time

Create percussion instruments with your child and learn to make fun rhythms together.

What you’ll need:

What to do:

Take a clean tin can and help your child to stretch plastic over the open end. Use an elastic band to secure the plastic around the can. Try to do this with two or more different sizes of can. You could also try using different materials to stretch across the top of the can. Make sure whatever you use is securely fastened so that when your child taps or pats the top it will stay in place and make a sound.

Next, take a toilet roll inner and cover one end with paper. Use an elastic or tape to hold it in place. Put a few beans and/or some rice grains into the toilet roll, then seal the other end with paper so it is closed on both sides.

Let your child use paint or marker pens to decorate their instruments. Show them how they can make different sounds by shaking the toilet rolls and tapping or patting on the tin cans. Try using a small stick to tap on the tin can drum.

Play a short rhythm on one of the instruments and ask your child to copy it. Then ask them to make up a rhythm for you to copy. Try out different sounds and rhythm patterns.

Alternative Materials:

Change it up:

Make it easy: Help your child to make their instruments then let them decorate. Teach your child a basic rhythm to copy.

Make it a challenge: Let your child make and decorate their own instruments. Encourage them to try different materials to cover the cans and toilet rolls with, and to use different amounts of beans/rice inside the toilet rolls to get different sounds. Give them more complicated rhythms to copy.

Play with Friends: A group of friends can make a ‘band’ and put together a set of rhythms into a song to play for everyone.

Indoor play: This activity can be done indoors or outdoors. 

Developmental areas:

  • Fine motor skills

  • Concepts – rhythm

  • Concepts – counting

Values instilled

Communication; love of music; self-confidence.