This post is sponsored by The Reject Shop
Here is a challenge for you: get a paper cup (or two or three) and see how many instruments you can make from it. We tried this challenge and came up with six, and we’ve even made a movie so you can see and hear them in action!
The sky is the limit with this project, but to give you a bit of inspiration here is how we made our six very easy instruments.
you will need
- paper or plastic cups in varying sizes
- duct tape
- rubber bands in varying sizes
- bakers twine
- sponges (ordinary kitchen sponges)
- paper straws
- rice or similar
- a kitchen skewer and scissors
We got all of this stuff apart from the rice and beads (which we already had in the cupboard) from The Reject Shop. They have a huge range in their party aisle and I found it all to be very reasonably priced.
#1 paper cup instrument
A paper cup is already an instrument in itself without needing to have anything done to it. Miss R’s first grade class did a super cute version of this paper cup song as an assembly item last year. In the movie above she is showing off the rhythm she practised and practiced for school.
Use two paper cups as clappers and have fun banging them to make different clapping sounds. The bigger cups sound different to the little cups, and you can experiment banging them on the bases, the tops and onto the table.
Fill paper cups with rice, lentils, dried beans or similar and make some cool shakers by sticking them together with duct tape. You’ll need to cut slits in the duct tape all around it horizontally so that it fits a bit better to the tapered edge of the cup. Again, the bigger cup sounds different to the little cups and filling it with different things will create new and interesting sounds too.
#4 chicken noise makers
Poke a hole through the top of your cup using a kitchen skewer and thread through a piece of the bakers twine with a bead tied to the end. Wet a small piece of kitchen sponge and use it to pull the string and you’ll find it sounds a lot like a chicken clucking.
These drums are pretty cool and take no more than a minute to make. Blow a balloon up and let the air out to give it a bit of stretch and then cut the tip off. Stretch the balloon over the top of the cup, grab a couple of paper straws and now you have a drum! They actually sound really good when you have three different sizes to play, although it took my girls a bit of practice to get into the knack of not hitting them too hard.
Put a rubber band over your cup and it becomes a strummer. To make it more interesting use different sizes of cups and rubber bands and see what difference it makes.
And that’s our brainstorming session complete, but I’m sure there are more things you could come up with. Go on, take the paper cup challenge just for fun!
You can find lots more DIY toys on our craft and play board on Pinterest, are you following us?