Making Musical Instruments--Homemade Xylophone

We found a fun book at the library. In Nifty Thrifty Music Crafts by Felicia Lowenstein Niven has wonderful ideas to take recycled objects and make music. Many of the ideas are familiar, but some have new twists. Hazel cannot wait to make a ukulele, but we need to finish our box of cereal first. This book also has rhythm blocks, panpipes, finger cymbals, colonial drum, American Indian clapper, tambourine, rain stick, maracas and a ukulele. We are definitely going to try the ukulele at some point. I also like the rhythm blocks, but we will see. Anyway we started with the xylophone. 

Now we have a xylophone, but making one is part of the fun of the homemade one. To make one you need empty jars, a wooden stick (chopstick, pencil or a stick) and water. You can also have food coloring--Hazel will tell you this is one of the best parts.
You fill the jars with different amounts of water and can add food coloring to each one. We made different colors in each one and tried mixing colors to practice what colors would make the secondary colors. We used different jar sizes, but they could all be the same.
Then you hit the jars with the stick to play it. Hazel had the best time experimenting. She tried hitting the sides where the water was, the sides where the water was not and the tops. Then she asked if we could put the lids on. Apparently I did not take a picture of this, but in this picture you can see the lids all around.
With the lids on she hit the sides and the lids to see if they made different sounds. She had so much fun with this activity. She did not want to dump it out so she could play for Daddy. She also asked if we could do it again. My little musician is always happy making music.
Needless to say, we will be doing this again. I think she liked the homemade one better than her store bought one.