I am excited to be offering 30 days of fun crafts to keep kids active and entertained this summer! You won’t want to miss a day of these fun crafts for kids from some amazing bloggers! Please be sure to pay them a visit!

Jill from Homemade By Jill writes…

Hello, craft campers!  I am so happy to be back again this summer to share another kid’s craft.

I was visiting my mom recently, a wonderfully creative lady who is mother to 8 and grandmother to 13 kids. Needless to say, she knows how to keep the little ones entertained!  She pulled out a great collection of rhythm instruments and I was excited to learn she had made most of them.  Today I’d like to share a few instruments with you!

First up, wrist bells.  Strap them on your wrists or ankles and dance around, creating instant music.  This makes an easy sewing project for older children, and can be done by hand or machine.

Supplies needed:

  • 9 inches cotton belting
  • 9 inches ribbon
  • 1.5 inches velcro
  • 4 medium jingle bells
  • needle and thread

Prepare the wrist strap:

  1. Fold each end of the cotton belting under 1/2 inch and sew.  If using a sewing machine, cover cut end with a wide zig zag stitch.
  2. Lay ribbon on top, also folding ends under 1/2 inch and pin in place.
  3. Sew ribbon to belting.
  4. Sew velcro to prepared strap, one piece on the front and the other on the back, so it will hold together when wrapped around wrist.

Sew on the jingle bells:

On my first attempt, I sewed the bells onto the strap and handed it off to my toddler.  Imagine my surprise when he started shaking and the bells flew off across the room!  While the metal loops on the bells were not sharp to the touch, they were sharp enough to cut through the thread with vigorous shaking.

To solve this problem, I put a little strip of hot glue on either side of the jingle bell loop to round out the edges.  Sew bells to the strap by hand, using thread or embroidery floss.  You are ready to shake and jingle!

We also made two sets of rhythm sticks.  I bought a one inch diameter wooden dowel at the hardware store and had an employee cut it into four 12 inch pieces for me.  The hardest part was done before I’d left the store.

Supplies needed:

  • wooden dowel, cut into pieces
  • sand paper
  • acrylic craft paint
  • polyurethane varnish
  • painter’s tape (optional)

Hand off the dowels and a piece of sand paper to an older child to sand of any rough edges and round off the corners.  My children are still young, so I just gave the dowels a quick blast with the power sander.

Since I was able to get 2 sets of sticks from one dowel, I painted one set myself and let my 2 year old paint the second set.

For the striped set, I taped off a pattern on the dowels with painter’s tape.  Everything under the tape remains the natural wood color.  I prepped my toddlers sticks by giving them a solid coat of paint.

Mason jars worked great to hold the sticks upright while the paint dried.  Once dry, I handed off the rhythm sticks to Oscar to decorate.  He isn’t very handy with a paint brush yet, so I gave him a pencil eraser to use as a “polka-dotter.”

After all the paint was dry, I gave each set of sticks two coats of polyurethane varnish to protect the paint.  We let them air out overnight before starting our little band.

Hopefully this will get you started making your own instrument collection!  Throw on some Motown music, and you’ll be grooving in no time.

About Cindy Hopper

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  2. What fantastic ideas! We are having a backyard tea party for my Little M and I am planning to make dowel ribbons for dancing. We will have a “freeze dance” game with them and then the kids will take them as party favors. Now I’m thinking I will make rhythm sticks as well. Half the kids can make the music while the other kids dance!

  3. These are so awesome! We have lots of jingle-bells, but it never occurred to me to make them into ankle bracelets! The wee one is going to be over the moon…dancing and making music at the same time!! Thanks for sharing this!

  4. I think my two year old would really enjoy these.

  5. I made homemade egg shakers and my toddler loves them. Fill plastic easter eggs with about 1/2 Tbsp each of different kinds of grains/split peas/popcorn/wheat berries/etc. I found grains worked better than beans. Tape/glue closed. Easy and fun!

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