Simple Coconut Shell Instruments

Today’s theme for Discover & Explore is “Five Senses,” and I thought I’d focus on our sense of hearing through the world of music. If you’ve been following along for a bit, you know that we’ve had lots of fun lately making our own unique musical instruments, like our Giant Didgeridoo and our Painted Stick Instruments.  You also know that I am a proponent of using Music for Language Building.  Recently we spent some time exploring coconuts as part of our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  unit, and we decided to use the leftover coconut shells to create some fun instruments!

Coconut Shell Instruments

The idea for this quick project came from Let’s Play Music- click HERE for the original post.  I absolutely adore the Let’s Play Music blog! There are so many wonderful songs and ideas for bringing them to life with little ones- it’s a great resource for parents and teachers of young children.

Coconut Shell Instruments

Creating these coconut shell instruments was super simple, albeit not something a toddler can help with too much- since we didn’t have an electric saw to use on the coconut shell as recommended in the original tutorial, my husband basically hacked the coconut shell in half with a butcher knife. The twins were able to help me sand the coconuts down with a sanding block to get rid of the rough “hair” on the outside of the shell, although they did tire of the process rather quickly. To make handles for their little hands, I simply drilled a couple of holes in the top of each shell and tied a loop of parachute cord (provided to us by Craft Project in each half for them to hold onto.

Coconut Shell Instruments

To play the coconut shells, you can either clap them together, or if you have really young children like ours, you can simply tap them on the floor. Either method produces a hollow “clippity clop” sound that sounds remarkably like horses’ hooves!  Turns out this was a really common way of producing the sound effect of galloping horses in old Western films- cool, huh?

Wanna hear them for yourself? Click on the video clip below to see Syd in action- please excuse my loud singing 😉

A big thank you to Let’s Play Music for allowing us to post about their tutorial- we have had so much fun playing our coconut “horse cloppers!” For more “knee-bobbing” horsey songs from Let’s Play Music, click HERE. They also have an amazing archive of musical activities for toddlers and their musical crafts are almost too cute for words, especially this Twinkle Twinkle Little Star mobile!

Here are a few more of our posts you might want to check out if you are exploring music with your little ones- click on the photos to visit each post!

Building Language with Music  Painted Stick Instrument

Giant DIY Didgeridoo

And now, it’s your turn. We’d love for you to share how you Discover and Explore: Five Senses!

Please read the following guidelines for sharing:

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the weekly topic — kids activities, book activities, crafts, recipes, nature outings, free printables–anything that might be helpful to those wanting to put together activities based on this week’s theme
  • By linking up, you are giving me permission to share your post including one photo in our weekly feature post and on social media channels. I WILL BE SHARING YOUR POSTS ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND G+, so be sure you are following me so you don’t miss out!
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that have linked up, find some new ideas & meet new friends!
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The linky will remain open for a week. Then all co-hosts will feature activities in a separate post on Fridays and share featured posts on the Discover and Explore Pinterest Board. If you aren’t already, please remember to follow us so you’re sure not to miss those feature posts. And don’t forget to stop by and visit my lovely co-hosts to see what they are sharing for this week’s theme!

KCEdventures Fantastic Fun and Learning

Teach Preschool Buggy and Buddy 





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  1. These are so so cool!!! I am loving all these music shares from you!

  2. This gives me a reason to buy coconuts now!


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