top of page


When children show an interest in exploring sounds (e.g., by tapping on tables or clapping), invite them to make drums with recycled materials. Offer a choice of recycled containers and paper. Place the chosen container on top of the paper and encourage children to draw a larger outline around the container (about the length of a thumb away). Use an elastic band to secure the paper around the mouth of the container. Help as needed with cutting the paper and securing it. Optional: Provide additional materials for children to decorate the drum.

Questions You May Ask 

⚙ What could you use to make a drum?

⚙ How can you make a [louder, softer] sound with your drum?

⚙ What rhythms or sound patterns can you tap on your drum?

⚙ How can you make another drum that sounds different?


⚙ 3 years and up

Time and Place

⚙ Any time of day

⚙ Any time of year

⚙ Indoors or outdoors


⚙ Recycled materials such as cans or large yogurt containers 
⚙ Paper (e.g., recycled newspaper, construction paper, lined paper)
⚙ Washable marker or other writing utensil 
⚙ Safety scissors
⚙ Elastic Band 


Optional Materials 

​⚙ Materials to decorate the drum (e.g., tempera paint, fabric, glitter, stickers, glue)    



⚙ Supervise children at all times 
⚙ If a recycled can is used, check for sharp edges

Play-based Context

Most young children enjoy tapping on all kind of surfaces and making different sounds.

Related Children's Books

⚙ Drum City by Thea Guidone

bottom of page