“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” – John Lubbock
A common refrain that we hear these days is that the digital generation has no time for anything. Life’s busy, everyone’s rushing and staying behind the rest is not an option. The result is that we hardly meet people outside of our screens, and we don’t remember the last time we watched a glorious sunset at the beach. But come to think of it, if the current generation has time to hunt fictional characters from their phones, they can most certainly spare the time to look at a butterfly’s wings or watch the leaves rustle!
There’s something about what the older generations did as kids – finding their entertainment within nature. They didn’t have the gadgets today’s kids have and so they did a lot of improvising and were immensely creative. Today’s post is inspired from that creative spirit and makes use of a naturally occurring percussion instrument – Gulmohar seed pods. These are dried pods from the Gulmohar or Flame of the Forest tree, which are also used as musical instruments in some cultures. The seed pods are hard and woody, and make the perfect case for the freely moving seeds inside. So let’s check out our DIY percussion instrument craft, proving that you can make music with nature!
Making Music with Nature – DIY Percussion Instrument
What you’ll need:
- 3-4 Gulmohar Seed Pods, dried and hard
- Colored marker pens (we used liquid chalk markers)
- White paint
1. First of all, make sure your raw material is in good shape! The Gulmohar seed pods need to be hard and dry, with a woody feel. They should be firm and you should be able to hear the seeds rattling. Clean and dry them thoroughly before you set out crafting.
2. Decide on a color scheme for your instruments. Use the color wheel to find two or three complementary colors or just use a color combination you like. Don’t be afraid to go bright! Use the markers to draw broad stripes and fill in, or go for narrow stripes.
3. Finish off one seed pod and leave it to set while you finish the remaining pods.
4. Use the white paint to give some character to your instruments! Use it as a filler or go for a monochrome tribal scheme – the options are endless!
This is a great craft for kids of all ages, and for adults too! There’s something very therapeutic about using natural materials to craft with, and is an immediate stress buster. Seeing that you can draw any kind of patterns on the seed pods, this is an ideal open-ended activity for kids to bring out all their creativity and spend some quiet time feeling the texture of the pods and the way the pens and brushes glide on them. A lovely tactile activity!