Introduction: DIY Kids Sand Block Instruments

Picture of DIY Kids Sand Block Instruments
My wife recently purchase a set of wooden sand block instruments from a teachers supply store to use with her kids music group. Unfortunately, at $5 a pop she did not have a budget to get blocks for every child she works with.

Materials Used:
  • 3/4" MDF(I had some extra pieces around 3 1/2" in width, but you could use any width that you think a child will be able to hold).
  • 100 grit sand paper (to make the edges of the MDF less sharp)
  • 60 git sand paper (glued on the blocks to make the noise)
  • Varathane Interior Wood Finish (so that the paint will not come off in you need to lightly wash the blocks)
  • Tempera Paint (powdered or pre mix)
  • Contact Cement
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Circular Saw

Step 1: Cut Blocks and Sand Edges

Picture of Cut Blocks and Sand Edges

The blocks we purchased were 2"x5", however I had some spare MDF pieces 3 1/2" wide so our final dimension were 5" x 3 1/2".

I used a circular saw to cut the pieces to length and 100 grit sand paper to take off any sharp corners or edges; sanding for only 30-60 seconds per edge.

Step 2: Paint Each Pair of Blocks

Picture of Paint Each Pair of Blocks

We used 3 coats of tempera paint letting each coat dry for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Apply 3 Coats of Wood Finish

Picture of Apply 3 Coats of Wood Finish

The varnish is pretty sticky, so just be careful when turning over the block. We used paper towel under each block, but in retrospect a couple layers of newspaper would  have been better.

Step 4: Cut Out Sand Paper and Cement to Blocks

Picture of Cut Out Sand Paper and Cement to Blocks

We cut our pieces of 60 git sand paper slightly smaller than the blocks, about 1/8" smaller on each side. This gave a bit of room for the extra cement to be squished out from under each sheet and smeared around the edges. No real reason for this....but at this point, the fumes were starting to get to us.

Make that the edges stay flush to the blocks as some of the sand paper will tend to no stay glued to the block while drying.

That's it!  Time to make some noise!

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