Seussical Musical Instruments
Kids will delight both music lovers and the Lorax when they create original Seussical instruments out of items from the recycling bin! Make enough instruments to form a family or neighborhood Boom Band or get everyone to play and parade up and down Mulberry Street!
What you’ll need:
- items from the recycling bin (plastic bottles with a short neck, collar and lip; cardboard tubes; plastic caps with extended nozzles)
- items from the shed, garage or hardware store (garden hose or plastic tubing; funnels)
- poster board or construction paper
- Dr. Seuss titles such as Horton Hears a Who!, The Sleep Book, Happy Birthday to You!, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? and If I Ran the Circus
- masking tape, painter’s tape, or duct tape
- paint, glitter, stickers (optional)
- scissors and craft knife
Read together and seek design inspiration from the three-nozzled bloozer, one-nozzled noozer, the Birthday Horn, the Hinkle-Horn, the Poggle Horn and other brass instruments created by Dr. Seuss.
To build an instrument that will produce sound, it will need to have a mouthpiece and a funnel-shaped bell. The tubes or pipes that connect the mouthpiece to the bell won’t have valves like a traditional brass instrument, but they will help channel the sound and when twisted and turned, look extremely Seussian!
It is a good idea to have kids sketch an idea for their instrument first. But before they start drawing, have them take a look at the materials available for building.
If you’re relying on items from the recycling bin, have kids tape cardboard tubes together into the desired shape and length. Form a bell by making a cone from poster board and attaching it to one end of the tube using tape. On the other end, secure a mouthpiece that’s made from the top of a plastic bottle. To make the mouthpiece, an adult should use a craft knife to cut around the shoulder of the bottle. Fit this piece snugly into the instrument tube and secure with tape. The neck, collar and lip of the bottle should protrude from the tube for blowing.
For making an instrument with items from the shed or garage, an adult should cut a desired length of clean hose or tubing. Kids can fit the stem of a funnel onto one end. The stem can either fit into the tube or the tube can fit into the stem. Secure with tape. Add a mouthpiece to the other end. A plastic cap with an extended nozzle works well as the nozzle tip can be fitted into the tube. Use tape to secure interesting coils and loops shaped from the tubing.
Before kids start blowing their instruments, have them practice buzzing their lips together as if they are blowing a “raspberry.” When they make this noise into the mouthpiece, it vibrates and produces the instrument’s sound!
Let kids use paint or glitter to decorate their instruments. Then strike up the band!