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Sand-drums - easy instrument-making DIY for kids, rhythm notation, elementary STEM nature study

Investigate, create, explore, "Look and Listen", and re-imagine!

Hear the waves...

Hear the rain...

Hear the storm...

Hear the rhythm of the #SummerSong (or your own ocean song)

Instrument-making with easy accessible natural and recycled materials is one of the activities feeding my and my kids' excitement. With this craft, we connect music-movement with STEM and science, and necessary auditory and sensory exploration.

What's best - even in the coldest mid-winter, you may choose to turn your classroom into the tropical island, feel the sand, and sing our Island Song (find the .mp3 file in the Music resource section) Grab your ukulele and let's sing and dance together ;)

How to:

We started with a quick trip to our local beach. (but you may prepare your own sand too, having your sensory children in mind and adding some age appropriate large or smaller elements into the playing sand). Have you ever wondered what the sand is? What could you find in the sand? How does the sand sound?

This sand-drum project is a great starter for the emerging curriculum, Reggio-Emilia, Waldorf-inspired lessons, as well in Montessori settings, obviously with addition of auditory games and elementary music instruction. It opens various pathways, from ocean exploration, to rock, shell, water, tropics, pirates, or erosion, pollution, sustainable living, and moon sand or mood dust studies. Just "look and listen", children will guide you. Click here to find the Summer Song picture book on Amazon.

Don't forget to ask about sounds and motion, to educate the whole child.

Depending on your study themes, your kids interests, add stories that listeners will illustrate with the background sounds of the ocean drums, add songs and music from other cultures and places in the world. Maybe you'll make some other instruments with sand?

Incorporate our sand drums in gross motor and fine motor activities, sound and movement explorations (repetition, echoing, improvisation), in circle games, or soundtrack creation to your favorite book.

Are you feeling inspired? Please share pictures from your lessons, ideas and project with me - let's inspire one another! #ArtsKindred or tag me @ArtsKindred on your social media.

I'm looking forward hearing from you,


p.s. yes, we used the paint sample cards for the rhythm notation setup.



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