Having a background in music, I try to integrate it into the daily routine of my kids as often as I can. I understand however, that giving a toddler a musical instrument and letting them go to town is frightening for some. The benefits I tell you are far worth the potential headache. And if you go at the whole idea slightly slow, and very intentional it doesn’t have to be so bad. We all know that music is great for early education, and I cannot say enough how great it is for kids learning to express themselves.

Percussion instruments are some of the easiest to make at home. All you will need are various sized containers, rubber bands, and balloons. Take your balloons and cut the mouth part off. Now you should be able to stretch the balloons over the opening of your containers. Pull it nice and taut then rubber band it on. You can explore the different sounds each drum makes, skinny versus wide, tall versus short.

It’s also a fun experiment if you begin to add water to the containers and see how that changes the sound. This is exceptionally simple if you are using several containers of the same size. You can also explore the different sounds made when you hit the drum with your hands, and when you use spoons.

My all time favorite thing to do of course, is to reinforce simple counting, and music association. Put on your favorite song and beat along with the rhythm. Count to the rhythm with your children. The all time best part about these balloon skin drums, is that they aren’t really that loud. Frankly they are far better than beating on pots and pans.


-Stephanie Wright

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