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I would like ideas on making outdoor instruments for our playground at school.? Answered


 Lengths of plastic tubing, ranging from about 6 feet to a foot can be put into a simple frame and hit at the top end to create very interesting sounds; using homemade bats or table tennis bats.

I am talking about the blue, wide diameter pipes, ( 10" ?), that the water companies use underground; they will often give off cuts away to schools or charities.

It's a simple idea but the sound created is a loud,hollow, echoed POP and quite addictive to kids and adults.

Good luck.

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8 years ago

theres a wooden xycolophone (sp) kind of thing here on instructables that would work

 old aluminum tubes can make a xylophone or a windchime or you could use cowbells or use plastic tubs for drums but i suggest you google it 

Depends on your skill level with tools and how much time/ money you want to invest in it.

I'll list some cheap easy ones first:

- oil drums, get some oil drums and bolt them to the ground. Then attach a chain to the oil drum and to the chain two sticks with rubber stoppers attached to them (the rubber thingie's that are at the legs of a chair to ensure it doesn't go anyware)

- put 2 metal bars (there has to be a distance between them) in the ground and atttach some rope to it. Make sure the rope is very thight. It will now function like a guitar. It won't make much noise but enough for the kids to hear (we don't want them daf ;) )

- use pvc from differen diameters to make a blowhorn. So start with a small diameter pvc cube where the kids can blow in then go larger in diameter so you get a horn.

- make a music run through tunnel! Quite easy and very fun (also good for there physic) put 4 metal bars in the ground and connect them on the top. Then hang pvc pipes (varying diameters) on string from this frame. Then let the kids run through them! It makes a fun and hollow noise and I'm sure they'll have fun running through them.

- a sound table: Get an old table and bolt it to the ground. Now fill varias cylinders with materials like (screws, mais, rice, peanuts...) and attach them to the table using a chain. Now the kids have shaketubes they can make music with! It would be instructable if there was a wooden plank on the table with each cyclinder and when you would turn it around it would say wich material it was. This would make a good listening exercise as the children would need to listen very carefully what is making the noise.

- This: www.instructables.com/id/2x4-xylophone/

Now some hard and probably expensive ones:

Make a giant piano!: it would be from this ible: www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-Billie-Jean-Sidewalk/ but instead of light you need music (or even cooler music and light!) you could do this by opening a keyboard and putting the switches and output of every note (or just the basic notes) under each step. Then when the kids step on it it would make the note. It would be something like in the simpsons where homer is playing on a giant keyboard! Make sure to waterproof it though :)

Make a harp: something like the guitar thing I proposed but now you should make a wooden frame in the shape of a harp. It would basicly be a big harp.

Well that's all I have for now. I hope you understand what I am saying but if not please do ask :)


Hang large diameter PVC or metal pipes of varying lengths to make a xylophone/tubular bells type of instrument. It could be played with a rubber mallet, a stick, or just by swinging the tubes into each other like a wind chime.

Repost this as a top-level comment, and you might even get "Best Answer" :-/

Searching for "garden rain drum" would probably also find some interesting things; if it can stand up to be rained on, it might also stand up to being pounded on.

There's a sculpture I've seen which is a "musical fence" of solid rods of varying lengths, with their bottom end welded to a support bar. Dragging a stick along this as you walk by yields a melody as the rods get longer or shorter, or you can tap on selected rods to create your own melody.

See also the "2x4 xylophone" under Related.