Music & Dance

Make musical instruments.

  • Target Age: 4-6
  • Skills/Subjects:
    • Creative Expression
    • Physical and Motor
    • Science
  • Related Episodes:
    • #130: Be Bop
    • #205: Zoop! Zoop!
    • #405: Dance in Smarty Pants
    • #606: Abiyoyo


  • Small box
  • Rubber bands
  • Cans and containers with lids
  • Coffee can
  • Yogurt container with lid
  • Large pot or bucket

Make musical instruments from materials found around the house. Children can play their instruments as they sing or as they listen to recorded music. Try putting on a family band concert!

Rubber-Band Banjo:

Use the bottom half of a shoe box, an empty box of tissues, or other available box or container. Stretch four or five rubber bands of different widths over the opening of the box. Pluck and listen. Using both hands, see how many different notes you can make on one rubber band? What is the highest note you can make on the Rubber-Band Banjo? What is the lowest?


Put beads, buttons, paper clips, dried pasta, dried beans, or rice inside empty containers with lids, for example, a coffee can and a yogurt container. Make at least two different shakers. Shake and compare the sounds.


Almost anything can be a drum. Try drumming with your hands on a plastic bucket or dishpan, a metal pot, and other household objects. Compare the sounds.

Talk about It
Music and dance help children build strong bodies, express feelings, and explore rhythm, words, and the science of sounds. You may want to think about ways to make music more a part of your family's everyday life. Play a variety of music, including children's music, and encourage your child to talk about the type of music he or she likes best for listening, for singing along, for dancing, for going to sleep. Music can make cleaning up and other chores more fun. Make up songs to sing to your child in the bath, "This is the way we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face. This is the way we wash our face, when we take a bath." A family dance party is great exercise on a rainy day. Teach your child singing games and dances you enjoyed as a kid. Sing lullabies from your own childhood to your child at night.

Related Books

  • Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka
  • Dumpy La Rue by Elizabeth Winthrup
  • Lizard's Song by George Shannon

Wild Kratts Creature Power


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!