Today I’m sharing a beautiful DIY instrument that you can make with children of all ages, even toddlers, using natural materials and just a few craft supplies. This instrument is based on an Egyptian sistrum, which is a hand-held percussion instrument that was often played for pharaohs and nobility in ancient times. So cool, right? This idea is from the amazing collection of DIY musical instruments and musical crafts available at Daria Music – you may remember our giant didgeridoo inspired by Daria’s tutorial a few weeks ago. Daria did send me two of her beautiful children’s music CDs as compensation for posting about her tutorials, but all opinions are my own, and I can tell you right now that we will be returning to this musical craft collection time and again for inspiration…there are some really great ideas there for adults and children of all ages and abilities!
Following Daria’s Egyptian Sistrum tutorial, here is how we created our musical pieces of art:
Step One: Painting
On one of our recent trips to the creek, we gathered a couple of large, forked sticks that would be perfect for this project. During one of our arty afternoons, I gave the twins the sticks and a rainbow of acrylic paints to choose from and let them have at it. We ended up with a couple of rainbow sticks that would have been masterpieces themselves…but we weren’t finished yet!
Step Two: Adding the Shaker
This is a step that Sydney and I completed together a few days later when she woke up early from her nap. I cut a piece of thin craft wire for each stick and had her choose a few large buttons from my button jar to thread onto each wire, as well as a couple of brightly colored jingle bells. After we threaded them on the wire together, I stretched the wire across the forked end of each stick (see photo below) and wrapped the ends tightly, ensuring that no spiky ends remained.
Step Three: Adding a Handle
For the final step, I took some different colors of yarn from my stash and wrapped it tightly around the end of each stick, forming a multicolored handle.
And there you have it- your very own Eygptian sistrum made from a simple stick!
Hey, that means she’s having fun, right?
Daria’s instrument tutorials would be fantastic for teachers, homeschoolers, or just parents wanting fun projects to do with their kiddos at home. You can find the complete instrument tutorial/craft list HERE – we are planning on making several more of these as we continue to explore instruments and music at home.