Top Preschool Crafts

DIY Musical Instrument for Kids: African Thumb Piano

Make an African thumb piano from a cardboard box. DIY musical instrument for kids.

Make an African thumb piano from a cardboard box. DIY musical instrument for kids.

DIY Musical Instrument for Kids: African Thumb Piano

Our box project this month has a jungle theme! Did you know you can find jungles all over the world including New Zealand, Brazil, and India? Our box project today comes out of Africa, inspired by the African thumb piano. The thumb piano originates only from Africa and is usually made from bamboo or wood. We love to recycle so our diy musical instrument for kids will be made of an empty Green Kid Crafts box.

Get your Green Kid Crafts Box here!

Supplies

  • 1 Empty Green Kid Crafts Box (a shoe box works too)
  • Tape
  • Knife or Scissors
  • Bobby Pins
  • Paints
  • Paint Brush

 

Instructions

African thumb piano

Start by taping the lid closed on your box.

African thumb piano

Next, cut a circle in the top of the box. It should be about the size of the palm of your hand.

African thumb piano

Pull each bobby pin to open the prongs an inch or two.

African thumb piano

Use tape to secure the open bobby pins to the box. Position them about halfway over the hole in the box with the rippled sides up.

African thumb piano

coffee filter pumpkin craft

African thumb piano

Paint your box an assortment of colors that remind you of the jungle. Use the bright colors of bird, foliage, insects and animals of the jungle as your inspiration. We were inspired by the sun so we  painted our instrument orange and yellow.  Create patterns like zig-zags and stripes too!

African thumb piano

Playing the Thumb Piano

The thumb piano is a percussion instrument where the performer uses their thumbs to pluck metal prongs to create sounds. When plucked, the prongs produce a sound as they vibrate. Place the thumb piano on the floor or your lap and experiment with all the different sounds you can make with your new instrument!

Find more projects like this on our Pinterest page!

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