Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Trash to Treasure Page 2

October 10, 2009 02:28 by Barbara Shelby

Page 1 here...


Wondering what to do with all those odds and end of wrapping paper?  Make a collage with them.  Use craft or scrapbooking glue to adhere the pieces together and let dry completely.  You can really get creative and mix and match patterns.


MAKE A COLLAGE BOX and fill it with recycled materials!

COLLAGE BOXES are containers for storing all those odds and ends that are perfect for creating collages. As you find scraps of lace, buttons, even pieces of foil or drinking straws, place them in your collage box. Also put in lids or extremely clean Styrofoam meat trays suitable for being the base of the collage.

  • Leave it in your art center or occasionally place glue, scissors, and the collage box on a table.
  • You'll see your children's imaginations at work, as they combine the various contents into a one-of-kind masterpiece.
    Tip: Before you place the art supplies on the work table, spread a few layers of newspaper, a plastic table cloth, wax paper or tray on its surface. This will make messy glue spills a breeze to clean...

TEN THINGS TO COLLECT for Making Collage Art...

1. Torn up bits of old paintings and drawings you don't want to keep.
2. Labels from boxes, cans, candy bars and bottles (soak them off then dry them).
3. Used postage stamps, especially from all over the world.
4. Shiny Mylar foil balloons that have gone flat.
5. Short pieces of string, yarn, thread, twine, ribbon and lace (short pieces...don't keep too much).
6. Words cut out of magazine headlines and ads.
7. Maps.
8. Broken jewelry.
9. Seeds from flowers, kitchen spices, leftover garden.
10. Used tickets from shows and sports events.

...AND #11. Things you can glue collected from Trips and Vacations! As the above sample photo shows, some will come out so nice --that you'll want to frame them! (Made by Jenny Nance, Keego Harbor, Michigan)


Do you have a lot of magazines?! MAKE A MAGAZINE HOUSE!

  • Using an old catalog or magazine, cut out pictures of chairs, tables, curtains, bathroom fixtures and other furnishings.
  • Spread out a large sheet of drawing paper. Sketch an "open sided" house.
  • Have children place the pictures of the furnishings in the rooms of their choice. They can cut out more pictures to redecorate their house, cut out pictures of people, toys, pets, and anything they like!



Do you have lots of wire hangers? You've got the first ingredient for a mobile. Using photos, homemade pictures, or any other paper items, punch a hole in them and tie a string or piece of yarn in the hole. (Paper will be more stable if forst glued/mounted to card stock)

Tie the other end of the string on the wire hanger, spacing three across the bottom of the hanger. If you really want to get creative, hook two other wire hangers on the bottom corners of the first hanger for an even bigger, more inventive mobile.



1. Take the paper off old crayons
2.  Break them into pieces.
3.  Spray muffin/cupcake tins with nonstick spray or lightly coat with oil----OR---Line the cups of a miniature muffin tin with aluminum foil cupcake liners of regular liners 3 each deep.
4.  Put crayon pieces into muffin tins and melt in an oven at 250 degrees until just melted can mix the crayons in the tins but you may want to have separate colors as well.
Let tins cool.
5. Turn over and rap back of tins hard.
You can use a toothpick to make a swirl effect in the wax before it cools. Just be careful, the wax is very HOT!



This is another way to recycle old crayons! Peel the paper from the crayons. Put bit of crayons in individual disposable cups or empty egg carton sections. Place this outisde on a very hot and sunny day where the crayons will melt. After melting, let the crayons cool overnight and 'pop' them out the next day. You'll have mew 'cool-shaped' crayons!


Small paper plates
Play dough
Pipe cleaners
Pony beads
Cereal with a hole in center

First of all make play dough instead of buying it! (Click here for more than 40 play dough recipes!) When your play dough has begun to outgrow its usefulness---remember this idea! 

  • Give each child with a small paper plate containing a ball of play dough about the size of a golf ball. Have the children flatten the ball out just a bit.
  • Provide the children with a variety of colored feathers, pipe cleaners, pony beads, cereal, etc.
    Some things they can do:
    Wrap pipe cleaners around pencils or their fingers to make spirals; thread the beads onto the pipe cleaners and stick the feathers and pipe cleaners into the play dough. Now, step back and watch them create some of the most interesting sculptures!! (I just did this with two children ages 3 and 5--make sure the dough is more rounded than flat or when dry it will crack.  It took several days for the sculptures to harden. It went quickly once they were placed on a raised wire cookie tray. Air was able to then circulate underneath.)





Put out a variety of decorating items such as pom-poms, beads, jewels, pipe cleaners, etc. Have kids bring OLD SHOES and watch creativity explode! Depending on the material of the shoes-use either a good white glue or hot glue. (Hot glue will dry faster) Photo from Carleton Place Public Library summer project.



The biodegradable packing peanuts MADE FROM CORNSTARCH can be assembled into fascinating sculptures simply by moistening one end of each piece with a damp cotton swab (the moisture melts them and makes them stick together.) Use these and other (bottle caps, twist ties, rubber bands) and stay busy for hours.



Assuming you can stop the kids from popping it all, paint a section and use it to make polka-dot snake skin-like prints.



Using the TOP of tissue paper boxes, cut pieces to frame small pieces of art! You can also cut out the tops from a variety of gift boxes. Cut out the center so that it is slightly smaller than the art to be displayed.


***MISCELLEANEOUS IDEAS Also check the Frugal and Program Money Saving Tips Category-- Some really wonderful Recyled Ideas are also in there!


Children love to pretend they are building. Hammers, nails, and a handy block of Styrofoam or soft block of wood can be wonderful tools for fine motor skills. This is an activity that should be closely supervised. It would be fun to create a wood working area in your program.


When children ask, "How does this work?"
help them to find out. Provide non-working toasters, clocks, VCR’s, tape recorders, radios and other appliances to disassemble. You can put these items on your wish list to parents.

Remove electrical cords and establish guidelines for taking things apart (only with adult supervision, at this table, no more than 2 children at a time, etc.) Caregivers can teach safe use of tools at disassembly stations where screwdrivers, pliers, and bins for sorting screws and small parts are stored.


JUNK MAIL JEWELRY (For older school age to adult)
Letters, fliers, and brochures sent by direct marketers are often very colorful. We can help the environment and save landfill space by making paper beads from it. Many of the mail pieces you receive are varnished, making this type of paper expensive to recycle. Because of their coated surface, however, beads made from junk mail are very strong and fairly waterproof.

You will need: Junk mail with a coated, shiny surface, Newspapers to keep area clean, Broken jewelry to string with paper beads (optional), Ruler, pencil, and scissors, White glue, Round tooth picks, Strong, thin string, such as kite string, Needle for threading beads

1.  Cut the paper into small strips approximately 3/4" wide by 41/2" long. Roll each bead by wrapping it tightly around a toothpick. Complete the bead by gluing the last 1/2" of the strip. Remove the toothpick and repeat until all the beads are made.

 2. Beads of different sizes may be made by varying the dimensions given. To make the beads bigger, use longer strips of paper. Change the width of the strips to make wider or narrower beads. (Chunky beads are from longer triangles while narrow long beads are from short triangles.)


3.  When stringing beads, alternate handmade paper beads with beads rescued from broken necklaces and bracelets, or make your own with pulp paper Mache mixture. Tie a knot in the string to complete the necklace, or use a professional clasp which may be purchased at a craft store.

You can also use magazine covers and other slick papers to make beads. Even materials with some printing will do, since only the last inch or so of the bead is visible.

Someone actually made me the above necklace about 15 years ago! (Angie Dockter at Brooklands School- K-Club)-and it's beautiful! As you can see in the photo-they look like real beads! Thank you Angie! (Barb) Image by
Source: "Schoolage note of the day 5/20/08

  • Gather used wrapping paper/old magazines, scissors, glue sticks, one drinking straw per child and yarn.
  • Cut triangles from the paper that are approximately 2 inches across the bottom and 10 inches tall. Each triangle makes one bead.
  • Place the triangle wrong side up on the table. Lay the straw along the wide end of the triangle. Tightly roll the strip around the straw twice.
  • Put glue on the remainder of the triangular strip and continue to roll the paper evenly.
  • Finish the bead by gluing down the narrow end and holding in place until the glue sets.
  • Slip bead off of the straw and repeat this procedure until the desired number of beads are created.
  • String the beads on the desired length of yarn and tie the ends together



Take a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, or several pieces glued together, paint it and decorate it with beads, glitter, sequins, etc., Glue a jewelry pin on the back.


aterials Needed:
Toilet tissue tubes
Wax paper
Crayons (Paper removed)
Potato peeler
Rubber bands

1. Cut wax paper into rectangular pieces that when folded, will fit over the end of the toilet tissue roll.
2. Have children cut tiny pieces of tissue and place on wax paper. They can tear it if they can't control scissors. Another variation is to have the child grate peeled crayons with a potato peeler onto the waxed paper.
3. Fold the waxed paper in half and press with a warm iron until the paper sticks together. Child can do this carefully.
4. Fasten the waxed paper to the end of the toilet tissue roll with a rubber band.
5. Hold up to light and see the various colors.


Materials: Paper towel tube, cardboard, construction paper, yarn, poster board

1. Tape or glue a round piece of cardboard to each end of a paper towel tube.
2. Cut a slot for the clown's mouth, Make it large enough for coins to go through.
3. Paint the tube white, Glue on yarn hair and features cut from the paper.



(Uses "OLD" tennis balls)
    •Materials: Old tennis balls (If no one in your program plays tennis, put them on your wish list! Red paint and a paintbrush (You can skip this part if you're able to find red tennis balls--look at pet-toys)
    •Brown pipe cleaner
    •Scrap of green felt
    •Two large wiggle eyes
    •Masking tape
    •Tiny red pom-pom
    •Black marker
    •White glue or thick blue glue gel
    •Newspaper to work on
    •Plastic-foam egg carton (for drying the tennis ball on)

1. Have an adult use a sharp knife to cut a slit across the lower half of the ball for the mouth and to poke a small slit in the top of the ball for the stem. If you have a shop vise, you can use it to hold the ball steady while you make the cuts. The deeper the mouth cut, the easier it will be to squeeze the mouth to open it.

2. Paint the ball red. Let it dry on the plastic-foam egg carton.

3. Stick a piece of masking tape on the back of each wiggle eye to create a better gluing surface. Glue the eyes on the ball above the mouth.

4. Glue on the red pom-pom for the nose.
5. Cut a 2-inch piece of brown pipe cleaner for the stem. Push the end of the stem through the hole in the top of the apple.
6. Cut a leaf shape from the green felt scrap. Cut a tiny slit at the base of the leaf. Slide the leaf down over the stem through the slit so that it sits on the top of the apple.

7. Use the black marker to make a line over the cut mouth to accentuate it.

8. To make the mouth of the apple open and close, squeeze the ball on each side of the mouth.

This little apple puppet can pick things up with the mouth and swallow them. You might want to make a game of seeing how many things the puppet can pick up and swallow in a set amount of time. Try picking up small pom-poms or popcorn kernels, bits of cereal and raisins. The kids especially liked to play the 'apple eats your nose game'." More than one group reported apple puppets nibbling at other kids with much giggling--- a part of the game.


Cover the table with newspaper. Put out poster paints and brushes. The kids can decorate the balls to look like faces, animals, or designs of their imagination. Be sure to use old tennis balls and let them dry before using them... This project gives triple use to the balls- you first recycle the ball as an art project, and then recycle it again as a tennis ball!


Need tennis balls and tennis ball containers to play or make projects?
Go to local tennis courts (clubs) and ask them to save the containers from the balls. Kids can decorate them with permanent magic markers then go outside and collect bugs. They are adorable and FREE. Also, I didn't realize people only use the balls one time. The balls can be used outside and for crafts. From Mrs. Z in Michigan /Florida



Old Tennins Balls
Sport Sock (We all have the loan mate of the one the washing machine ate!)

You won't believe how great this feels! It really does get out all thee knots in your back! Take a sports sock and place two tennis balls into the sock and tie the top of the sock up with either a elastic bandor a knot. Lay on top of it on the floor and roll yourself back and forth. You could also have someone rub it over your back, legs, etc.




Decorate old CDs to hang from the ceiling…

Cover the printed side of the discs, using construction paper and a glue gun. Use markers, crayons, paint, glitter pens and stickers to turn the discs into works of art. This CD is painted with acrylics.

  • Punch holes in the tops of the CDs and hang them with fishing wire or string.
  • They could also be used as coasters if you don't wish to hang them!


2 old CD's
Tacky glue
Yellow construction paper
String or yarn
Yellow sharpie marker

  • Cut triangles with about a 1 ½ inch base out of yellow paper.
  • Spread tacky glue onto printed side of CD. Place triangles onto the outer rim of the CD (where the base of the triangle is at the edge, but into the glue).
  • Place the end of the string/yarn onto the glue about 3/4 of the way into the glue, let the rest hang out.
  • Spread a little glue onto the printed side of the other CD. Now sandwich the CD's together (printed side/glue sides together).
  • Write child's name on the CD with the yellow sharpie marker. You have a sparkling sun to hang in a sunny window!


Does anyone still use film? If so – save those film canisters!
When you're ready to load your camera, don't toss out the film canister. The plastic container makes a lively finger puppet that's easy and fun to make. All the dressing material can be used from previous craft projects.

If you don't have canisters, put them on your wish list- or ask a local photo store if they have discarded canisters to donate.

Film canisters,
Colored plastic tape (electrician's tape),
Tacky glue,
Collage materials (yarn bits, ribbon, buttons, sequins and wiggle eyes).

  • Wrap the tape around the canister's top or bottom to distinguish the body from the head of the puppet.
  • Add hair and a face, and decorate the body using whatever collage materials you like.
  • Turn each canister over to fill it with a small amount of fiberfill to give the puppet a snug fit on a little finger.
  • Use the canister lids (slide them on the closed end) to make delightful hats for the puppets.
    One child used yellow pipe cleaners for a sporty flipped-up 'do,' wiggle eyes, and sequin leaves for a stunning gown. The film canister top looked really cute on top like a beret!
    From: Cassie/Mi.



Empty film containers or salt shakers with holes punched in tops.
A variety of scents such as: lemon garlic, vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, coffee, etc.

Put a different scent in individual containers. Have children smell the containers and guess what each contains. You can also use a variety of essential oils on cotton balls and place them in the containers



Put up decorations made from recycled or reused materials. Instead of using crepe paper, cut strips of used notebook paper or construction paper and glue them together to form colorful chains to hang from the ceiling. Be creative!




TP tube or paper towel tube cut to desired height (Paint the tubes before decorating)
Paper heart doilies or construction paper heart shapes
Google eyes (for butterfly #2 )- black marker for simple version)
Pipe Cleaner
Decorations as desired

Kid Activities believes that children's projects are best when they are open-ended. For this activity a variety of supplies were put out. (Crafters had a visual sample-but were told to create their own version.) Two samples are shown here...

1. Both 'Butterflies' are similar but 'R' added a head and double wings. The wings have been cut out from the center of heart-shaped Doilies-however-construction paper hearts can also be used. The wings are glued over each other onto the back of the paper tube.
3. The pom-pom head sits on top of the tube and a full length 'pipe cleaner antenna' fold into the tube. (It's size and thickness holds it in place) The mouth and nose are made from t 'bits' cut out of foam.
Small 'stick on' foam hearts decorate the wings.

The more simple version for a 'younger child' uses one set of wings. In place of a pom-pom head--eyes and mouth are drawn on with a black permanent marker. (Images by


Click here to see this site's Wish List to Parents! Lots of great items for Recycled projects!

Click here to go back to 'PAGE 1 of RECYCLED IDEAS!

Make Musical Instruments with Recycled Materials!


Our 'Wish List' to Families and Friends!

August 22, 2009 14:38 by Barbara Shelby


A great way to supplement 'Trash to Treasure' and 'Arts and Craft' Supplies is by putting out a request list! You can make and do all kinds of wonderful things with some of the below ideas! 


  • Old jewelry
  • Dress up clothes, purses, scarves, shawls, high heels
  • Old costumes
  • Dance recital costumes
  • Ties, Men's jackets



  • Outgrown-good shape under-wear in a variety of sizes
  • Outgrown-good shape children's pants and t-shirts in variety of sizes
  • Mittens, hats
  • Socks
  • Boots



  • Toaster oven
  • Crock pot
  • Toaster
  • Electric mixer
  • Blenders
  • Electric griddle or fry pan
  • Electric hot plate
  • Micro-wave
  • Hot gloves/hot pads
  • Kitchen towels
  • Rags
  • Sponges (Also to shape for art stamping) 
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Spoons, spatulas, measuring spoons and cups



  • Tape recorder
  • T.V. with video/DVD player
  • G-Rated DVD's-Videos
  • Children's Books
  • Unused birthday and holiday cups and plates
  • Unused birthday and holiday napkins
  • Gently used games
  • Gently used toys of all kinds
  • Homework Supplies
  • Small appliances to take apart and/or recreate




  • Small to medium gift boxes (for gifts and creating building projects)
  • Shoe boxes (dioramas and games)
  • Corks
  • Buttons, beads 
  • Paper towel and tissue rolls; paper tubes of all kinds
  • Dried beans, seeds rice and grain for art/collages
  • Christmas general, and birthday wrap (gently used)
  • Wallpaper, wallpaper books 
  • Ribbons
  • Crochet thread (strings for weaving)
  • Yarn, yarn, yarn 
  • String
  • Rubber Bands 
  • Fish-line
  • Paper doilies
  • Tinsel, garland
  • Old clean socks (for indoor or warm-winter State snowball fights and making puppets)
  • Mittens, hats (for crafts)
  • Plastic serving trays
  • Margarine bowls, cottage cheese containers, etc (for crafts or holding supplies)
  • Pringles cans – Lays Stax – Whiska snacks containers (any plastic container with lid)
  • Coffee cans with lids
  • Zip-lock storage bags
  • Old magnets from fridge
  • Tissue paper from gifts
  • Wire hangers
  • Sewing items-yarn, thread, needles, pins
  • Fabric
  • Silk flowers (all sizes)
  • Straws
  • Shaped unused pasta noodles, dried spaghetti noodles
  • Left-over craft supplies
  • Magazines, magazines, magazines (check for appropriateness)
  • Old calendars with nice pictures
  • Old coffee table art books
  • Flat bed sheets (use outside or inside for kids to play on/with)
  • Books from hair stylists
  • Old animal books or animal magazines
  • Blankets
  • Paper bags (all sizes)
  • Old bingo dabbers
  • Envelopes (makes great little gift sacs)
  • Different size smooth stones
  • Small sea shells
  • Flour, corn starch, salt, corn syrup, Kool-Aid, cinamon, etc. for goop/slime and play dough
  • Dryer lint (for play dough) 
  • Film tubes
  • Card board (small to 16 x 20)
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Canvas boards 
  • Clean nylon stockings (for wire and stocking sculptures)
  • Unscented and scented baby wipes
  • Aluminum foil, wax paper, paper towels, facial tissues
  • Wood scraps – interesting shapes – small wood scraps (any wood crafters in your district?)
  • Plexiglas (any sizes)
  • Bottles, baby food jars, old vases
  • How to Art books for program library  
  • Plastic table cloths
  • Eye droppers
  • Paper of all kinds: Copy, lined, index cards, colored 
  • Office supplies
  • Pliers - any kind – hand tools (hammers, screw drivers)
  • Old file cabinets


 Eleven Things to Collect for Art Collage...

  • Torn up bits of old paintings and drawings you don't want to keep.
  • Labels from boxes, cans, candy bars and bottles (Soak them off then dry them).
  • Used postage stamps, especially from all over the world. 
  •  Shiny Mylar foil balloons that have gone flat.
  • Short pieces of string, yarn, thread, twine, ribbon and lace (Short pieces...don't keep too much).
  • Words cut out of magazine headlines and ads.
  • Maps.
  • Broken jewelry.
  • Seeds from flowers, kitchen spices, leftover garden stuff. 
  •  Used tickets from shows and sports events.
  • Things you can glue--- collected from trips/vacations.


To use some of these items, you may want to check out the Recycled Category and Art Category.  Many of these supplies can be used for some of the craft ideas on this site!

Other Pages that may interest you:

  • Crafts of all Kinds
  • Crafts for crafts or Crafts that are great as Gifts
  • Children's Crafts that Smell Good! 
  • Homemade Musical Instruments
  • Windsocks and Wind Chimes
  • Make Bookmarks
  • Also...each and every 'Theme and Holiday' have Art and Craft activities that use recycled materials!


  • Homemade Musical Instruments

    May 30, 2009 14:40 by Barbara Shelby


    Some things you have a home or might usually throw away-- can be recycled to make great musical instruments that really work! After they're made, see what to do with them at bottom of page! Great Fun!!!


    Cut a piece of paper to fit around a CAN with a plastic lid; large coffee cans work well, but any size can be used. Decorate the paper with crayons and markers--Attach the paper around the can with tape.
    You can also use an empty PLASTIC JUG, or WOODEN BOWL turned upside down or metal POT or BOWL.



    • Cut two pieces of paper to fit around two cardboard oatmeal containers with lids.
    • Decorate the paper with crayons and markers.
    • Attach the paper around both containers with tape.
    • Set the containers side by side and tie them together with two long pieces of string or yarn.
    • Tie one piece of string around the upper section of the containers and the other around the lower section.
    • Place a dab of glue under the string in several spots to hold it in place. Play your bongos by tapping on the tops with your fingertips


    Turn a cooking pan over and beat on the bottom of it with a wooden spoon.


    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).


    Use hands to tap on the drums--- a wooden spoon, metal spoon, rubber spatula, whisk or a basting brush. Make drumsticks with two unsharpened pencils with erasers. Or…Attach an empty thread spool on one end of the pencils or wrap a thick rubber band around one end of each pencil. Have children experiment with the variety of sounds and tones they can make.


        • Have children tap together two wooden dowels.
        • Children can also put metal thimbles on each finger and tap them together.
        • TAP together two metal or wooden spoons, two walnut shells, or two metal pot lids.


    Pancake flipper, metal grater, metal sifter and two pieces of sandpaper.



    Keys, set of metal measuring spoons, small set of wind chimes.


    A container of toothpicks, a container of nails or tacks or an envelope of flower seeds.



    Put pop can tabs/tops or beans inside of a Pringles can. Secure the plastic lid of the can with tape. Paint or cover the can with construction paper and shake it!


    Use an large empty spool from lanyard, curling ribbon, wire, etc. to make musical shakers.
    You need:
    Large Empty Spool
    Foamy Shape (Star, circle, etc.)
    Foam Brushes
    Curling Ribbon
    Rice, Beans or Beads
    Paint the spool. Let it dry. Glue a foam shape over the opening on one end. Drop in a few beans in the other end. Glue a foamy shape over that end to keep the beans inside.
    Cut long pieces of curling ribbon and tie it to the core of the spool. Curl with scissors.


    Empty plastic water bottles with their caps
    Masking tape (plain or bright colors)
    Paint and/or markers (of not using colored tape) 
    Dried beans or popcorn kernels

    1.Going horizontally, wrap the water bottle from top to bottom with masking tape. If using colored masking tape, alternate the colors to make a bright design.
    2. If using plain masing tape, decorate the maraca by drawing or painting designs on the masking tape.
    3. Fill the water bottle half-way with popcorn or dried beans. Replace bottle cap and shake!


    Easy to make from empty film canisters and craft sticks.
    You need:
    Empty Film Canisters
    Craft Sticks
    Colored or Black Vinyl Tape
    Black Marker or Paint
    Rice, Beans, or Beads
    1.  Paint the craft sticks black.
    2.  Decorate the sticks and the containers using colored vinyl tape.
    3.  Cut a slit in the tops to hold the craft sticks securely. Fill containers half full with rice, beans or beads. Replace the tops.
    4. Push in the crafts sticks.
    Source: Dawn of Morganton-North Carolina.

    1. Have kids paint their paper plates (eating-side down) any color and design they choose. The brighter the better!
    2. Once  paint is dry, fill one paper plate with dried beans, popcorn kernels,  or anything that will make noise.
    3. Glue the paper plates together...and shake!
    Optional: Glue or staple long crepe paper streamers if desired.



    String three or four bells onto a chenille stem. Twist the ends together to form a bracelet.


    Hold 5 OR 6 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.



    • Glue or staple two foil pie pans or paper plates together with the front sides are facing.
    • Try to reuse paper plates that have only been used for sandwiches or dry foods.
    • Paper plates can be decorated first with crayons or markers.
    • Make holes about 2” apart around the rims of the plates or pans with a hole punch.
    • Use string to tie a bell from each hole.
    • You can also place a handful of dried beans or rice between the plates before attaching them together. Shake to play.


    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.


    Cover the bottom of a with used gift wrap paper. Save the lid for another project. Stretch 5-7 rubber bands around the. Place the rubber bands 2”-3” apart. Use rubber bands of different sizes and widths. Strum the guitar with fingers or use the plastic tags that fasten bread bags closed as guitar picks.


    KAZOO Need: Toilet Paper Tubes, Wax Paper, Rubber Band, Paint
    Decorate a toilet paper tube with paint. Then punch a hole about a half-inch down the tube. Last...put a circle of wax paper over one end and secure it with a rubber band. Now your children can play music from a recycled toilet paper tube.


    Cut a piece of paper of fit around a paper towel tube. Decorate the paper with crayons or markers and attach it to the tube with tape. Use the end of a pen or pencil to place a row of holes along one side of the tube. Squeeze one end of the tube together and staple it in the center, leaving two open portions on either side of the staple. Hum or sing into the open end.



    An ordinary soda straw can be used to make a musical note as well as the funny noises you here when you suck the last drop out of soda from a glass. Here, we will make a great musical clarinet! Flatten about half an inch of the end of a paper drinking straw. Then cut a point in the flattened end. Put the flattened end into your mouth, and be careful not to tough the points with your lips, and blow hard. The points will vibrate rapidly and you will produce a musical note.

    If you cut pieces of straws at various lengths, you can make many different notes, because the tone is changed by the amount of air vibrating inside the straw.


    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.


    BOTTLES: Blow over the tops of bottles to make interesting sounds; Fill the bottles with different amounts of water to find out if the sounds you make change.


    Ruler or stick, washers, nail polish, string, mixing spoon

    • Hang the washers from the ruler or stick with pieces of string by wrapping the string around the ruler or stick and securing.
    • Strike the washers with the mixing spoon to play.
      Note: You can make this craft colorful by painting the washers first with different color nail polishes, such as red, gold, glittery, etc. Adults should supervise this part of the activity.


    Tall glasses or jars, water, mixing spoon

    • Fill the glasses or jars with different amounts of water.
    • The more water in the glass, the lower the pitch will be.
    • Having less water in the glass or jar will raise the pitch.
    • To play, gently strike the glasses with a mixing spoon.
      Note: This instrument should probably be played by older children in "the band" because of the use of glass.


    Pocket comb, tissue paper
    Fold a piece of tissue paper over the tooth edge of a comb. To play, hum through the tissue paper.


    ...These aren't necessarily recycled--but yes... are instruments
    Need: Drinking glasses, Water, Spoon
    Instructions: Fill drinking glasses with different amounts of water and have child tap on the glasses with a spoon. Have them listen carefully to detect the different sounds made.


    An empty crystal wine glass or champagne flute works best for this.
    Hold the glass as far down on the base of the stem as you can. Do not hold it on the flat bottom.
    Dip the index finger of your other hand into a glass of water. Take that finger and lightly rub it along the rim of your empty wine glass. This should produce a humming sound.

    The more you practice, the more you'll get a feel for how light or hard you should rub yourfinger on the glass to produce different sounds.



    If you take 1" schedule 40 PVC pipe (inexpensive pipe for drinking water ) and apply a natural rim of bees wax on one end, you have a didgeridoo. You can cut this at different lengths to get higher/lower sounds. You could also paint this to be traditional.

    Extension Ideas- Have the kids research:
    1) What is a didgeridoo?
    2) Where are they from?
    3) What is a onomatopoeia?
    4) How do sound waves travel?
    5) Will the didgeridoo sound higher or lower when you cut it to make it smaller?
    6) How is a traditional didgeridoo made?
    From: Doug/Florida (fluflu66)

    The didgeridoo is an instrument from Australia that is easy to start learning, but offers a way to bring some eclectic world flavor into your music life.
    1.  Sit down. It will be more comfortable and easier to drone for a longer period of time if you're sitting.
    2.  Relax. Get your mouth wet, your lips loose, and your breath coming easy. Have water ready, if you're a bit dry.
    3.  Hold the didgeridoo in front of you. Find a comfortable way to hold it steady. Some people like to hold the end of the instrument with their feet.
    4.  Choose your playing style. You can play the didgeridoo directly in front of your mouth, or off to the side of your lips. Each way has its own benefits, and one may be more comfortable to you.
    5.  Loosen your lips and blow through them like, "Brbrbrbrbrbrbr." If you are familiar with playing brass instruments, this will be something like getting ready to play a tuba.
    6.  Bring your lips to the mouthpiece to seal, but not too hard. You want to leave room for your lips to move a little.
    Blow the same loose raspberry. You may make some ugly noises at first, but the didgeridoo will help you find the right note by tightening or loosening your lips.
    7.  If you're tooting a high note like a trumpet, you may either be holding your lips too tight, or blowing too hard. You're not trying to move the air through the tube, you're just trying to get it to vibrate.
    Don't hum into the tube. (At least, not yet.) That's not how you get the drone started.
    8.  If you've found the right vibration, you should be getting a low, rumbly note out of the didgeridoo. It should be easy to maintain the note with just a little bit of air pressure. This is called the drone.

    'If you really want to get into the Didgeridoo' TIPS:

    1.  Once you're comfortable with the basic drone, you can change the shape of your mouth to coax some different sounds out of the instrument. Try mouthing vowels while droning, like, "Eeeeeeoooooeeeeooooo."
    2.  If you feel up to a challenge, try adding a little bit of vocalization while keeping your drone steady. Humming, barking, or singing down the tube while droning can get some neat effects.
    3.  If you can roll your r's try it, both with and without vocalization. If you don't have the "tube-tongue" r-rolling phenotype, you can still get some good effects just moving your tongue around in your mouth.
    4.  You can get a tremolo effect by rapidly contracting/relaxing your diaphragm.
    5.  Remember to breathe! Take care not to get woozy or pass out. The way experienced players keep the drone going is by blowing out while breathing in, not forgetting to breathe in at all.


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    1. START A PROGRAM GREEN BAND! (Green-because it's made from 'recycled' materials) Invite children to join the musical group ...OR...
    3. HAVE A PARADE!!!


    • Practice, practice, practice…then put on a show for a school assembly, a few of the classrooms and/or a parents’ night!
    • How about the Marching Band or parade?
    • You can also take the group "on the road" and entertain an assisted living facility or other community group.
    • Show children how to play the instruments.
    • Play along with a piece of music---Start out by playing some FAMILIAR SONGS with which they can play their instruments. (Maybe sing with them too?)
    • Encourage youth to listen for the beat of the song and match their strokes to the tempo of the music.
    • Give children CHOICE. Before they choose their final "Band Instrument --- let them play from a variety.
    • Put on some lively music and have child practice the instrument. Because it will be loud--you could practice outside when weather is nice!
    • Consider Choosing an instrument for yourself and join the children's' Instrument Parade!
    • It's not enough to just make the instruments - Now have some fun with them!!!

    Visit the  Music in our Schools and After School Programs Category for great Ideas! 

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