How to Make Tambourines for Preschoolers

by Chelsea Fitzgerald
Shaking a tambourine is enjoyable exercise and an effective way to learn rythmn.

Shaking a tambourine is enjoyable exercise and an effective way to learn rythmn.

Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Creating a homemade tambourine with your preschooler ensures that he can make all the noise -- ahem -- music that he desires. A jingly tambourine helps the child keep the beat while listening to a beloved CD or when singing along with his favorite TV characters. This musical instrument also provides the child with exercise while dancing or shaking the tambourine. Homemade tambourines are simple to make and use inexpensive supplies.

Items you will need

  • 2 paper plates
  • 5 or 6 jingle bells
  • Stapler
  • Colorful markers, stickers, glitter glue or other embellishments
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Narrow ribbons
  • Pebbles or dried beans (optional)
Step 1

Set one of the paper plates on a table top with the right side up just as if you were about to eat.

Step 2

Drop the jingle bells into the center of the paper plate.

Step 3

Lay the second paper plate face down on top of the first paper plate. This forms the body of the tambourine.

Step 4

Staple the edges of the paper plates together every inch or two. This ensures that the jingle bells don't fall out.

Step 5

Ask the preschooler to decorate her tambourine. Provide her with colorful markers, stickers, glitter glue or other embellishments to personalize the tambourine. Allow the decor time to dry.

Step 6

Punch three or four holes along the edge of the paper plates, but avoid the staples.

Step 7

Cut the narrow ribbon into 8-inch-long lengths with the scissors and measuring tape. Use different colors of ribbons if they are available. Push one end of the ribbon through the hole in the paper plate until it is even with the other end. Tie the ribbons close to the paper plate in a knot. Repeat this on all the holes to add color and sass to the tambourine.

Step 8

Instruct the child to shake the tambourine or to gently slap it against the side of his hip to the beat of the music.

Tips & Warnings

  • Small pebbles or dried beans are a useful substitute for jingle bells.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images