DIY rainbow loom musical instruments

At just about every store I walk into, I am constantly finding these brightly rainbow colored rubber bands designed to use on a kid’s loom.  How can a teacher resist picking up a set for the classroom? I couldn’t so now that I have oodles of these awesome rubber bands,  I have been looking for ideas to put them into good use…

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

Of course, I could break down and buy a kids loom to use with the rubber bands but I prefer to find other ways to use them in my classroom. So my first use was to invite my class to make their own rainbow rubber band colored musical instruments….

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

Inspired by all the recent explorations we have been having with a xylophone, this was a way of making our own version of a xylophone only instead of tapping the keys to make a sound, we talked about how we had to strum or pluck the bands to make a sound…

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

In my classroom we also call these strummies based on the book “Red and Yellow’s Noisy Night (The Olive Branch)” by Josh Selig…

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

“Red and Yellow’s Noisy Night” is a wonderful book that I have written about before and you can read more about our strummies and this book in this post: Making our own Musical Strummies

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

To make our rainbow loom musical instruments (or strummies) we used gift boxes I had picked up from the Dollar Tree. The children simply placed the rubber bands around an open gift box and they were ready to begin strumming up their own music…

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

Some of my students spent a long time using lots of rubber bands and rearranging the colors on their boxes until they were happy with their strummies. Whether the children added lots of rubber bands or only a few, the process was a good work out for fine motor skills…

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

You will notice that one box makes two strummies since the lid or the bottom of the box can be used. The sound of the strummy changes depending on how the rubberbands are sitting on the box. If the band is tighter on top then the sound will be higher, if the band is looser on top then the sound will be lower. So the children learned they can change the pitch of each rubber band by adjusting each one around the box one way or another…

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

And the best way to listen to a strummy is to put the back side of the box to your ear while strumming the open side (no headphones or legos are necessary:)…

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

Lots of musical language is introduced through this simple process (pitch, strum, pluck, sound, vibration) and a great way to use up those rainbow loom rubber bands that I have collected. Now to figure out what to do with the rest of them!

DIY Rainbow Loom Musical Instruments by Teach Preschool

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By |2014-03-30T06:00:58+00:00March 30th, 2014|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Ryan Richeal March 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Those boxes are wonderful! Where did you get them from?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 31, 2014 at 12:54 am - Reply

      They came from the Dollar Tree. They always sell them in sets of three during the holidays or next to where they sell birthday party supplies.

  2. Anne-Marie March 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of using the rainbow loom elastics for something other that bracelets… Talk about ingredients being readily available… They are all over the house!

  3. Mary Catherine April 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    I cannot wait to try these out with my little ones!! 🙂

  4. Connie April 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    What an amazing resource your blog is! I am a grandmother who is teaching preschool to three 3 yr olds rite now and I so appreciate all your great info! Thank you!

  5. Justin Martin August 2, 2014 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Kids are learning and enjoying much from these art materials -colorful bands and the box.

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