Kids always love making homemade instruments! Here’s how to make a kazoo using an empty paper towel roll or toilet paper roll, any cardboard tube. It’s a fun craft for kid and a great science activity for exploring sound.
*This science activity correlates with Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) 1-PS4-1.
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Exploring the sense of sound is always a hit with my two kids. Previously we’ve explored sound using a wire clothes hanger and gone on a sound walk. Today we’ll be exploring the sense of sound with our own homemade kazoo from a cardboard tube, a really fun STEM / STEAM activity for kids of all ages.
Be sure to check out these other science activities!
Exploring Sound with a Homemade Kazoo
Materials for Homemade Kazoos
- Cardboard tube (old toilet paper roll or paper towel roll)
- Wax paper
- Sharp pencil (or other sharp object) to poke holes
- Paint or other art supplies to decorate your kazoo (optional)
Directions for Homemade Kazoos
- Cover the end of your cardboard tube with wax paper. Secure it with a rubberband.
- Poke a hole in the side of the tube using the sharp pencil or other sharp object. (I used the poky end of a candy thermometer.)
3. Put the open end of the tube up to your mouth and hum or say “do” over and over and to make the kazoo sound. (This took some practice, but we finally got the hang of it!)
4. Optional: Paint your kazoo!
Questions to Spark More Curiosity & Critical Thinking
What do you hear? How are the sounds being made? Do the sounds change when you hum different tunes?
Lucy’s theory~ “I think my voice is hitting the wax paper and coming back to me.”
Explanation: The wax paper vibrates from the sound of your voice, amplifying it.
Want to go even further?
Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages.
- Try varying the length of the kazoo using different sized tubes. Do they sound the same of different?
- Poke more holes in the sides of your kazoo. Does covering the holes change the sounds you make?
- Try changing the material you cover your tube with (saran wrap or parchment paper for instance.) Do any other materials work better? Why or why not?