Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day

Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day

DIY Paper Tube Xylophone

Get your kids excited about exploring music by making your own paper tube xylophone. Or, make a few and start your own xylophone band!

What You’ll Need

  • Paper tubes of various sizes (paper towels, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Craft knife, box cutter or scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Rubber bands or hair ties
  • Glue
  • Chopsticks

What You’ll Do

  • Cut 6-8 paper tubes in varying sizes, each measuring an inch less in length than the previous tube.
  • Paint each tube a different color.
  • Create the underside of your xylophone frame by lining up all of your paper tubes in order. You should end up with a trapezoid shape. Measure the total length and width and cut a large piece of cardboard to match your measurements.
  • Measure and cut four one-inch-high pieces of cardboard to surround the frame. Secure the pieces with glue to the frame underside piece.
  • Secure the paper tubes together with rubber bands. For a secure fit, connect each tube to its neighbor by twisting the rubber band in a figure eight pattern, and using a rubber band on both the top and bottom of each tube. Repeat until all tubes are connected.
  • Place the tubes inside the xylophone frame. If it doesn’t fit tightly, use a small amount of glue to attach it.
  • Use chopsticks as drumsticks and explore the different sounds the paper xylophone makes.

What Kids Learn

How to Support the Play

  • Remember: There is often more than one “right way” of doing things.
  • When a child asks for help, guide without taking over. Nudge them along with suggestions framed as questions. “What would happen if…?”
  • Avoid imposing one right way of doing things!



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