Strike up the Band

Musical InstrumentsLittle kids love to make things and they love music and movement, so put all three things together for entertaining games for a preschool age party. All with a little help from the teachers at

You get two birthday party games for the ‘price’ of one, and that price is minimal since they’ll be making their musical instruments out of common household items like paper towel rolls, paper plates, rulers, cereal containers, etc. Full instructions for making 9 different instruments are available at The 9 instruments are hand bells, guitar, comb buzzer, xylophone, cymbals, horn, chimes, drum and tambourine. Heavy on the percussion, but they’ll love it.

I particularly recommend including the xylophone, which is essentially various glasses filled to different levels with water to produce different pitches. You’ll need to supervise the playing of this xylophone, but it’s the ‘coolest’ of all the instruments, teaches science, and will have them all intrigued.

If you’ve got a washboard, do add that in with a stick or ruler. You can also have them make maracas with a clean tin can, a plastic pet food lid and rice or beans.

Once they’ve made their instruments, and do let them all make more than one if they’re so inclined, it’s practice time. Encourage the comb buzz player (basically a kazoo sound) to play/hum a familiar tune like Old McDonald, and then have the others band members join in.  Change up the song, change up which kids are playing which instruments, encourage them to march like a real marching band.

Get a little more traction out of your ‘band’ by moving into singing when you see their interest waning in the marching and banging/plucking/shaking of making their music. Of course, they can sing AND play if they want.

Little kids really aren’t that hard to keep happy and busy as long as you keep your time expectations reasonable for their age.

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