Joyful Noise, Noise, NOISE, NOISE!

When twisted and twirled, this spinning drum sounds superlatively Seussian! It’s the perfect noisemaker for a Merry Grinch-mas and a Happy Who Year!

What you’ll need:

  • one sturdy cardboard ring from the recycling bin (like the center of a roll of packing tape, a ribbon roll or slice a 2 inch ring from a sturdy cardboard tube)
  • a dowel rod or other wooden stick (at least 12 inches long)
  • string, ribbon or cord (about 24 inches)
  • balloons* (non-inflated, 12-inch round)
  • beads, bells or heavy buttons* (at least 2)
  • hot glue gun or craft glue
  • packing tape
  • paint, glitter, stickers (optional)
  • scissors and craft knife
  • Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


Help your child poke two small holes directly across from each other in the center of the cardboard ring’s walls using a craft knife or scissors.  Mid-distance between the first two holes, poke a third larger hole in the ring wall.

Thread a piece of string through the first two holes. The string should be long enough so that the ends meet when they are pulled around to the front of the ring. Tie knots in the string that rest in front of the holes on both sides of the cardboard ring to keep the string from being pulled out.

The wooden stick is the handle for the spinning drum. If your child wants to paint it, let it dry before inserting it into the third larger hole. Push the stick in so that the top end rests against the inside wall of the ring. An adult should hot glue the stick to the inside of the ring, gluing around the top of the stick and around the hole. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

Take two balloons and cut off the necks where the balloons start to widen. Stretch one cut balloon over one opening of the cardboard ring, pulling it taut and even around the outside walls of the ring. Stretch the other balloon over the remaining opening. Have your child test the drum’s sound by tapping the balloon with the eraser of a pencil. Tighten or loosen the balloons to change the tone.

Without covering the strings, use packing tape to securely fasten the balloons onto the ring. Then tie a bead or bell to each end of the string. If desired, your child can add stickers or other decorative touches to the outside ring of the drum.

Now see just how much noise your child can make! Read Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! aloud and cue your child to make the kind of noise that so annoys the Grinch.

Talk together about other parts in the book where making a celebratory noise would be appropriate. Read the story again and have you child accompany you with his spinning drum or a different Seussical Musical Instrument!


* Always be vigilant with very young children who explore the world by putting things in their mouths. Please note that even after you’ve secured the balloons and beads, these items are still potential choking hazards.