Junk Instruments

A multiple purpose activity in which participants make musical instruments from junk.


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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