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Constructing a Band

Yellow painted bottle with red, blue, and green erasers on top.

Bob and his team give old objects new purposes. You and your child can create musical instruments from a reused object such as an empty water bottle, oatmeal canister, or laundry detergent jug. Try out different ways of creating varying tones and noise levels.

Learning Goals

  • Planning
  • Art
  • Creativity


10 to 20 minutes


  • Empty plastic bottles, canisters or jugs – washed and dried
  • Small bits and pieces like erasers, buttons, paper clips, or dried macaroni noodles
  • Paint (optional)


1. Work with your child to paint or decorate clean empty plastic bottles, oatmeal canisters, or jugs. Encourage creativity by asking your child to explain his or her color choices.

White cylindrical container and water bottle.

2. Fill a container with small bits and pieces. Shake and listen to how it sounds.

3. Challenge your child to pick another container and filler to create a different noise. Do the erasers create a louder noise than the paperclips? What about the buttons or dried macaroni noodles?

EN Small Objects 2.jpg

4. Continue until all the containers are filled.

5. Shake and strum at different beats – fast and slow – to create a song.

Take It Further

Working together can be a challenge for young children, so provide some practice in staying on the beat. Play music or sing a familiar song, and shake to the rhythm. Invite others to join the band.

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