If you have read this blog before you will know that I really like making homemade instruments with my children. I have recently made some homemade kazoos with them, and thought it would be good to let you know how I did it in case you want to make one yourself.
There are very few things you need for this. We gathered together toilet rolls, some baking paper, elastic bands, paint and washi tape, together with safety scissors and a pencil. This is such an easy instrument to make at home. Having said that, making one with a 2 year old and 5 year old was not necessarily such a good plan. Some things worked very well, and some things really did not!
We started off very well, with the children getting very excited about it having previously told me they did not want to take part. I drew a circle on the baking paper that was larger than the diameter of the toilet roll and handed these circles to the children to cut out. Lesson 1: safety scissors do not work well on baking paper, and in the hands of a 2 year old they are, quite frankly, a liability because she got thoroughly fed up with them very quickly. I abandoned the idea of some nice scissor skills practice for them and cut the circles out myself with proper scissors.
Then we put the baking paper circles over the toilet roll and secured it with an elastic band. Both children needed some help with this so that they didn’t squash the toilet roll. And that, basically, was that. Our kazoos were made.
Decoration time, and I chose some washi tape stripes for mine, and the children decided to paint the toilet roll – the baking paper fell off, and got put back on, thrown across the table, squished, and redone. I just about stopped myself from wishing I had never started this with them.
Then it was time to try the kazoos out.
I don’t know if you have ever tried playing a kazoo. It is a very easy instrument to play, and great first instrument for children to play. Having said that, I never understood how to play one until last year. You don’t blow down a kazoo, you sing or hum down it.
My youngest, at 2 years old, was probably a bit too young to be able to play it herself, she had a good go at it though. My eldest, in theory, was perfectly old enough. I showed my son how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with the kazoo, and he had a go – using a surprisingly high voice:
Yep, I think that is enough of that! This one was better:
My son then realised that he could use the kazoo to pretend to be Darth Vader (massive Star Wars fan) and that was that for the music making, it was Vader impressions all the way:
They really enjoyed making the kazoos and finding out how to use them. They actually made music, and got my children to exercise their imagination.
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