Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Little Drummer Boy

On a recent trip to the library, Logan selected the picture book Drummer Boy by Loren Long. After reading this nice Christmas story, we were inspired to make a drum. It ended up being a project for Mama instead of a kids craft project like I was originally hoping, but he is still enjoying playing with it, and even Mia has had some fun with our homemade drum. My directions are far from perfect, but I will share them as best as I can for anyone who would like to make their own recycled drum. Most of the time I think of crafting with kids as being about the process rather than the product, but in this case the product is definitely what I want to focus on.

  • clean empty canister with lid (we used a Swiss Miss Cocoa container)
  • 2 sheets of 9" x 12" green construction paper
  • 2 sheets of 9" x 12" yellow construction paper
  • glue/glue stick (optional)
  • clear tape
  • paper cutter (optional)
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • scissors
  1. (Note: The logical way to start would have been to measure the drum to see what size paper to use. I didn't do this right away, but eventually I determined that the circumference was 22 inches by using a piece of yarn and measuring the yarn with a ruler. This might have made things easier.) However, the way I actually started was by folding a piece of green construction paper around the canister. It was too tall, so I used my fingernail to make an impression of where it needed to be cut. Then I used my paper trimmer to cut it to size. I did the same with a second piece of green paper, overlapped the two and taped them to the canister. (Tape was adding when a glue stick wasn't really getting the paper to stay in place.)
  2. Next, I made triangles from yellow paper. I decided to make 11 of them because I thought they would be 2 inches wide and then I would have an even number on my drum. (Note: It didn't actually turn out to work, but I was proud of myself for planning ahead and trying to use what math skills I still possess.) I used 2 sheets of yellow construction paper and used my paper trimmer to cut them into strips that were 6 1/2 inches long (the height of the container) by 2 inches wide. I folded one strip in half hot dog style and then used the crease to figure out where my triangle point would be. Then, using a ruler, I drew two pencil lines from the center (bottom) to the outer edges (top left and right). I cut out the triangle and used it as a template to make 11 more triangles.
  3. I started gluing the yellow triangles along the top edge of the green paper. I laid them next to each other and kept gluing, eventually discovering that I had one too many triangles. (So much for my math skills, eh?) They started being a bit too long as well. The final drum ended up with some overlapping of triangles, which I had done all that math to avoid in the first place, but oh well. 
  4. Logan doesn't care how it looks. He used two paper towel tubes for drumsticks, but you could use wooden spoons or whatever you are brave enough to give to your children. This drum does make noise when banged on, especially if they bang on the metal bottom instead of the plastic lid top. (Note: You can make your drum look even prettier I suppose, by adding ribbon, string, or yarn zig-zagged up and down the triangles. I would suggest securing it with metal brads if the drum is going to get played with, but again, this is not even needed.) Personally, I let it go that it didn't look perfect because the drum is making my little drummer boy quite happy, which, in turn makes me happy.

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