Arts Activities

Junk Instruments

This activity has multiple purposes: 1. Increasing awareness of where there might be hidden resources in a community, 2. Learning to listen and collaborate, and 3. Developing music making skills

time 30 mins
time 5-10


Junk items like plastic bottles, aluminum food containers, rubbers bands, string, cardboard tubes, used up pens, paper clips, gravel, broken balloons, etc.


  • Participants choose what they want from the pile you provide. It there is time, they can go on a walk together to find their own junk items.
  • They then combine whatever they find into an instrument that makes a unique sound. They can work in pairs or small groups to share ideas, but everyone should end up with their own instrument.
  • Form a circle, and walk together to a leisurely beat.
  • Someone begins by making a repetitive sound with their instrument.
  • Go around the circle, with each person adding a repetitive sound to the circle.
  • Once the last person has added their sound, the first person changes their rhythm and you go around the circle again.
  • Remind the group to keep the beat, keep listening to each other, and to leave enough silence so that each sound can be heard.


  • Connect your debrief questions to your purpose for the activity.
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