Didgeridoos, from Northern Australia, are among the oldest known instruments. This flutelike instrument is made from small tree limbs that termites have hollowed out, and traditionally was played only by men, notes the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois. Today, anyone can play a didgeridoo. Put your lips together to make a buzzing noise while simultaneously making a low, deep sound in your throat as you blow into the instrument. If you don't have a termite-hollowed tree limb nearby, use a cardboard roll to make a didgeridoo instead.
Prepare a level work area such as a table or floor. Spread newspaper or an old sheet to protect the area from spilled or dripped paint.
Prepare your paints and paintbrushes, removing the lids from the paint jars and setting out the brushes on the prepared work area. Use nontoxic paint if making cardboard didgeridoos with young children. Latex or acrylic paints give older children and adults more color options.
Remove all wrapping from the cardboard roll, including any taped or glued pieces from the end of the wrapping paper.
Paint the cardboard tube using your own colors and designs. The men who played this instrument thousands of years ago communicated through pictures and symbols called pictographs. Paint your own pictographs on your cardboard didgeridoo.
Let the paint dry before adding more decorations, such as glued-on feathers, stickers or other small objects. Decorate your didgeridoo any way you like.
Play the instrument after all glue and paint has dried. Point the tube out in front of you while you stand or sit, resting one end on the ground while you bring the other end to your mouth. Push your lips inside the tube and blow hard enough so that your lips are vibrating and making the sound of a motorboat. Hum at the same time to make even more noise.
Tips & Warnings
- If you don't have paints, draw on the cardboard roll with markers instead.
- Too much paint on the roll can weaken the cardboard and ruin your didgeridoo. If you wish to use many colors on top of each other, let one layer of paint dry before applying the next.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images