Make a lagerphone – a simple and fun music stick musical instrument for kids using recycled materials.
Kids of all ages will have fun using this simple percussion instrument and playing along to their favourite music!
When my preschooler asked if we could make a musical instrument, initially I was going to go with and easy to make music shaker, or maybe a rain stick from a paper towel roll, but then I remembered making a lagerphone as a child and loving it! We didn’t have any metal bottle caps, so ours is not a traditional lagerphone and it doesn’t sound quite the same, so we renamed it the ‘Music Stick’.
This simple DIY percussion instrument is made from a sturdy stick and some bottle caps and it’s really easy to make a kid-friendly version of this fun music stick instrument!
Traditionally lagerphones are made from a sturdy stick with lots of metal beer bottle caps attached to it. The stick is tapped on the floor, or hit with another stick and the metal bottle caps jingle and make a tambourine-like sound. It’s a easy instrument to play and kids love tapping the stick on the floor, or shaking it around.
Simple percussion instruments like this are great for introducing kids to music and encouraging lots movement and gross motor practice as well, plus they are lots of fun!
How to make a Lagerphone for Kids!
The traditional lagerphone is made with metal bottle caps, but for our kid-friendly version we used plastic bottle lids instead. They don’t make quite the same sound, but they are safer for little fingers! If you are making your lagerphone with older kids, mental bottle caps work great!
Supplies for Making a Music Stick for Kids
To make a kid-friendly lagerphone or music stick you’ll need:
- A decent sized stick such as a broom handle or thicker.
- Bottle caps – plastic or metal
- Nails with large heads
- Piece of soft cloth
- rubber band
- Extra ribbons, bells, etc (optional)
We used an old wooden tent pole for our stick, and we covered the bottom with a square of polar fleece, held on with a rubber band, to protect the floor from the banging!
If you are using plastic bottle caps like we did, you may need to melt holes in each bottle cap before hammering them onto your stick. I used a heated skewer (do this outside if you can) to carefully melt holes into each bottle cap, making sure the hole wasn’t bigger than the head of my nails. If you are using metal bottle caps you should be able to hammer the nails straight through those.
To construct your music stick, give the stick a light sand to make sure there are no rough spots or splinters. Cover the end of the stick with a thick square of soft cloth, held on with a rubber band.
Hammer the bottle caps into the stick in any design you like, leaving clear space to hold onto the stick. Make sure you don’t hammer the nails all the way in, the bottle caps need to be loose so they can jiggle around and make sounds.
If your nails are long enough, add two bottle caps to some nails so they jiggle against each other and make a slightly different noise to the ones resting just against the wood.
Finally, to add a bit more fun and pizzazz to the music stick, add some bells and ribbons to the top!
How To Play a Lagerphone or Music Stick.
Playing your lagerphone or music stick is easy!
Tap the stick on the ground in time to the music, or you can shake and jiggle it, or you can even tap it with another small stick!
Use your music stick to practice matching a beat, or to play listening games, or just groove along with your favourite tunes!
Here’s a quick video of my preschooler playing his music stick!
The music he is playing along to is Songs of Connection by Alice Garrick at Alice Makes Music. Alice sent us a copy of her CD to listen to and we absolutely love it. The CD is has some great songs on it, my kids like the dinosaur song and ‘Mad as a Wet Hen’, and I’m often wandering around the house humming and singing “Lil Lil Lil Lil Lil…..”.
You can listen to Alice’s music on her website and also buy the CD or download the album from there.
More Easy Music Activities for Kids
For more easy music ideas to try with your kids, check out these easy music shakers you can make, and fun activity to do with them, or try one of these fun songs with matching printable puppets below: