Keeping kids musically engaged during quarantine (or anytime!)

Posted by Rei Murray on June 01, 2020

Lesson 1: Coffee Can Drum Fun
June 01, 2020


A funny thing happened when I was creating this first blog post that was very eye-opening.  I had the general idea planned out, I was going to work with my 9-year old to create our coffee can drums, and take pictures along the way to add in to my post.  However, as is often the case when working with children, things didn’t turn out the way I had planned.  

As soon as I told him what we were going to be doing (making a drum out of a coffee can) he immediately grabbed both of our coffee cans and started patting on them as if they were bongos.  He jammed out for a few minutes on his makeshift bongos before grabbing some spoons from the kitchen and transforming the cans into a drum set!  The beat was flowing from him like I’d never seen before, and all of this stemmed from me giving him the idea that a coffee can could be a drum.  His imagination took over from there.

Needless to say, I didn’t get any photos taken of the steps involved in turning a coffee can into a drum (my 9-year old couldn’t care less about decorating, he just wanted to make some noise).  Moral of the story?  Not all kids required (or want) structure and guidelines.  Sometimes all they need is a hint of an idea, and you can sit back and watch their childish imaginations take them where they want to go.


Materials needed for your drum:

  • Empty Coffee Can

  • Construction Paper

  • Glue Stick

  • Scissors

  • Optional: Markers, Stickers, Paint & Paint Brush.


Materials needed for your drum sticks:

  • Sticks from the yard, wooden spoons, unsharpened pencils… use your imagination!


Creating your drum

  • Remove the lid from your coffee can.

  • Using the construction paper and scissors, cut the paper to the height of the can, making sure the width can span the circumference of the can.

  • Adhere the construction paper to the coffee can using the glue stick.

  • Use your individual artistic skills (and your imagination!) to decorate your drum.  Draw, paint, or sticker the construction paper to personalize your drum.

  • Put the lid back on the can.  This will be the head of your drum.

  • Using whatever items you chose for your drum sticks, start banging a beat!


How did your drum turn out?  What kinds of activities are you doing at home to keep the rhythm flowing?  Use #PeripoleMusic to share your works of musical art with us!


Vocabulary from today’s lesson:

  • Height: The measurement from bottom to top
  • Width: The measurement from side to side
  • Circumference: The distance around the outside of a circle
  • Adhere: To stick firmly