DIY Ocean Drums! Just in Time for Summer

DIY We are officially one week into summer and the fun is in full swing! Part of my summer fun has been leading my first music therapy group at TheraCare. Each week at the end of our hour together, the children participate in a craft activity where they create an instrument corresponding with an instrument featured in the session. Since we talked about the ocean last week, the ocean drum was our big instrument and the kiddos LOVED IT! Sharing, however, was the part none of them liked too much 😉 So you can imagine their excitement when they learned they were going to create their own ocean drum to take home… it was a hit!

It doesn’t take much to make a really cool ocean drum and the best part is that your child will develop fine motor skills through the process. Plus, you get a really cool homemade multi-sensory instrument to play in the end, so it’s really a win-win!

This is what you need:

2 clear plastic plates
Blue paint/paint brush
Fish Stickers
Small Beads
*We also used Finding Dory confetti to add some sparkle!
Hot Glue Gun

1. Paint the inside of one of the plates to create your ocean background. Note: You can easily omit this step. Painting is not always desirable, especially if you are in a crunch for time or can’t get messy. I never use paint with my groups to minimize the chance for mess and to keep everything dry. It takes too long to wait for paint to dry when you have a group of children eager to finish their projects 🙂 IMG_7933

IMG_79252. Add fish stickers once paint is dry to complete the ocean backdrop.

3. Add beads and any other light objects of choice.

4. If you aren’t ready to glue it yet, clipping the sides together will allow you to test it out. With my group, I kept the drums the first night and held them together with clips until I was home to hot glue them shut. They were returned to the children at our next session ready to be played and taken home.

5. Go make music 🙂  You are ready to play! (Here’s a link you can check out for a quick example of how to play the ocean drum if you need it)


WARNING: Though your new ocean drum is fabulous and so much fun, be careful to be gentle with it just like with all instruments. Stepping on the drum will most definitely crack it and could produce sharp edges, so love your drum and take good care of it 🙂

Have fun making music!

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