Inspired by the H2O Spring Splash in Munn Park on Sat. April 11, Ms. Debbie is transforming her Music Pit into an undersea musical adventure, with shaker fish, seashell castanets, rain shakers, and featuring several DIY H2O Instruments.  Please come to downtown Lakeland some time between 10 am to 3 pm. and explore this little musical underwater world with me.

Here’s the details needed to get started on making some of your OWN water themed instruments !   There are MANY ways to make these instruments – just by gathering some of the things around the home.   I’ll add more pictures of these instruments, and my music pit, to get started.

These instruments are made with a focus on being ecologically friendly, child friendly, and most of all, child SAFE. so it is suggested to:

  • RE-USE  “modern consumer packaging” – such as empty water bottles, plastic eggs that remain after Spring activities, clam shell food containers, etc.
  • As much as possible, use filler in the shakers that is a stable food based item – just in case it opens or breaks, it will not cause harm if ingested.
  • These are NOT meant to be long lasting OR safe for a child under 3 without adult supervision.  Please watch their explorations closely to remain safe.


Sea Wave Drum

Materials and Steps:

  • Clam Shell  or flat plastic container with at least one side that can be seen through (ie. Crisper’s Salad To Go box or Ziplock flat plastic container).
  • Stickers of Bubbles, Starfish, Fish, or other undersea creatures.  These go on the INSIDE of the LID.
  • Fill the inside to make the wave sound.  Crunchy Grape Nuts cereal (or store brand alternative) makes the best wave sound.  A few Goldfish snack crackers is fun to watch swish around !
  • Secure the lid on the container:  with strong glue, or use some cool colored duct tape to secure the edges.

Ocean Wave Bottle

Materials and Steps:

  • A clear water bottle with the smoothest of side walls, with labels removed will be the start of our wave jar.   Having a tight fitting lid is critical.
  • Fill bottle with clear water up to about a third of the bottle, then add ONE drop of  blue food dye and stir it up a little to watch the color change.  Continue adding blue food dye until happy with the color (3-4 drops).  If the water is too dark, it is sometimes hard to see the little extras that may be added.
  • Fill up the next third of the bottle’s space with clear lamp oil.  This can be purchased cheaply enough at a one-stop-shopping type of store.   The brand is not important, but it must be clear.  I have tried using a variety of food based oils, but the coloring is yellowish (kinda gross to me) and the separation of oil and water gets kinda blurry.  Honestly, the lamp oil looks the best, lasts the longest, and makes it look MOST like the action of the waves.
  • It isn’t necessary to do anything else except secure the lid, turn it on it’s side slowly and watch the action of the clear oil on the blue water as it is gently swished from side to side.
  • A FEW other items can be included, and it is interesting to see on which level each will remain… Some sink directly to the bottom (like shells or marbles), Some stay in the center between the oil and water (like plastic beads or metallic confetti), and Some stay on the very top (flat colorful foam – in a die-cut fish shape, or other ocean creature).


Timbre Shakers

Actually, my best two post about making instruments to explore timbre is Exploring Timbre with Young Children, or Hey, Mr. TimbreThing Man, Make a Sound for ME.

 What kind of DIY instruments would YOU make WITH WATER, or with a Water THEME?