Recycled Band

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Toy instruments from the store are great… but involving kids in making them can be even better! Even I was impressed with how these instruments – made of common household items – turned out.

For the Shoebox Guitar, I first cut a circle from an old shoebox (tape the lid down with duct tape first, if you like).

Travis loved helping me find three elastics stretchy enough to stretch lengthwise around the box – although putting them on was definitely a grown-up job.

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At this point, the strings sound very dull… But now it was time to slip a pencil under the strings on either side.

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Immediately, you get resonance – and your elastics will even play different notes if they are different widths. Travis couldn’t wait to pick it up and start strumming.

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To make our Sandpaper Blocks, cut sandpaper into strips so you can wrap it around the middle of plastic cups.

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Secure the sandpaper to the cups with duct tape. We had fun experimenting with two different grades of sandpaper – extra fine and coarse – to see how they sounded.

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Travis then took additional cups and placed them around himself as a “drum set” – great imagination!

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And then of course it was time to march around in a parade. Thanks to High Five magazine for the musical idea.

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