julius jr. inventing time! make some music

Help your kids "make some music" by giving them the ingredients to build their own simple musical instruments.

Gather your kids and join us in the Invention Dimension! Julius Jr.'s Inventing Time activities give you simple ways to play with your kids that encourage their natural creativity!

Objects Needed to Create Your Invention

  • Pots and bowls
  • Wooden spoons
  • Show boxes
  • Plastic containers to fill with beans, rice, rocks or other sound-making objects
  • Large rubber bands, ideally different widths and sizes
  • Combs, ideally different sizes
  • Any textured items--sandpaper, bottom of shoe
  • Optional: different types of music to play (classical, reggae, country, salsa)
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    Step Inside the Box with Julius Jr.!

    Ask your kids:

  • What things make music? Let's see what sound we can make!
  • Let's see what happens when we wrap a rubber band around this box. What do you notice? What happens when you strum or add more rubber bands?
  • Here are some things that we could put in plastic containers. What kinds of sounds will they make? How about if we fill another container with something else? Why do you think they make different sounds?
  • Let's try drumming on different pots or bowls--metal, plastic, wood--and also try drumming on the floor. What makes the sounds louder or softer?
  • What else could we use to make an instrument? What things could we rub together to make sounds?
  • If you play music in the background, this could lead to the following inquiries: What types of music do you hear? What kind of instruments do you think are being used?
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    Now to the Invention Dimension!

    Let your child pick the instruments and determine how he or she will explore and use them. Avoid playing or singing known songs or melodies--encourage them to make up new music! Pay attention to what sounds they are playing. If you are in a group, allow each child special time to play their instruments and then dedicate time to a "Garage Band" jam session. Pull out your phone and make a quick video to post on the Julius Jr. Facebook page.

    What Your Little Ones Are Learning

    Your child will be learning by asking questions, generating ideas and trying them out--first by creating the instruments, and then by changing the sounds they make with different everyday objects! Playing their new instruments creates a connection between rhythm, sound and motion. Through rhythm and pattern recognition, music nurtures early math skills.

    Why "Inventing Time" Matters

    Creative thinking begins early in every child's life. It enables original thought and the ability to see solutions where others don't. It provides the fundamental building blocks for success in school and beyond. Creative play has been proven across multiple research studies to be the best path to developing a lifelong capacity for creativity.
    Julius Jr. and the Center for Childhood Creativity are working together to create inventing Time activities to help you support kids' natural creativity.

    Every kid can be an inventor like Julius Jr.
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