Re-use For Music

There are so many sounds and rhythms we can explore, using the ‘junk’ from our recycle box. And instruments and props help even the shyest child become fully involved in music making. So find out how you can protect the planet, encourage creativity and enjoy lots of music fun with home-made instruments and props


Tapping Sticks
Home-made shakers

Make your shakers from plastic pots or bottles. Fill them with something that makes a good sound when shaken! Pasta, rice, lentils, pebbles will do just fine. TIP: The posting action of filling the container, and decorating the shaker supports fine motor skills and creativity in expressive arts and design.

Home-made drums

Cardboard boxes, tubs, tins or pots make a great drum. You can decorate your drum to personalise them and support creative skills.

TIP: Explore how different surfaces make a different sound when hit.

Home-made tapping sticks

We make our tapping sticks from dowel, which we decorate with non toxic paint and varnish. Wooden spoons make an excellent alternative!

TIP: Use tapping sticks with any nursery rhyme to increase engagement and help children tune into the beat.


Sound Treasure Box
Visual Props
Sound treasure box

No stickers, no tape, no time? No problem! Grab an old box or a canvas shopping bag and spend a quick 10 minutes picking up bits and bobs from your home and recycle bins to make a Sound Treasure Box.

TIP: To use, tip the contents on the floor, put some music on and have fun with children tapping out rhythms and making different sounds with all the objects you have found.


Movement scarves are a really great prop to encourage gross motor skills and crossing the midline. Either buy them or make your own with crepe paper, tissue paper, old clothing…or you can just use a muslin or a tea towel.

TIP: If you can have different coloured scarves you can use them for colour recognition games too!
Visual props

Books and soft toys help children enter the world of a song. Singing a song about a farm?  Set the scene with a farm storybook and farm animal toys and turn a song into an immersive dramatic experience.

TIP: You can make lots of cool props from paper plates too.

Find Out More

Instructions on how to make our instruments

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