How to make panpipes

How to make panpipes

Try this super quick craft project with the kids to teach them about music and science at the same time. It’s cheap, easy and great fun to play!

Rustle up this wind instrument in no time with just a few straws, glue, a lolly stick and ribbon to decorate. Using these pretty paper straws, we’ve made a cool rainbow effect, but you can use whatever colours you have to hand. If you tie a length of twine to each end, you can wear it around your neck and make music wherever you go.

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Discover more activities for kids or try other homemade musical instruments to complete your band.

How to make panpipes

Prep
30 mins, plus drying time

You will need

  • Lolly stick
  • Paper straws (as many as needed to match the length of your lolly stick)
  • Ribbon or washi tape, to decorate

Equipment

  • PVA glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Method

  1. Lay the straws flat on a table and decide on the lengths you’d like them to be – the larger the steps between the straws, the bigger the difference in pitch.
     
  2. Mark with a pencil, then cut the straws to different lengths. Lay them out next to each other, with the top edges lined up.
     
  3. Apply glue to the back of the lolly stick and carefully place on top the straws, making sure it touches every straw. Allow to dry.
     
  4. Finish by covering the lolly stick with ribbon or washi tape, to decorate. To play, simply blow across the top of the straws.

More ideas

You can make all sorts of instruments, big and small, depending on what you have in the house. Make a bigger set of panpipes using drinks bottles or milk cartons, or fill up jam jars with different amounts of water to make a xylophone. Have fun playing with different notes and see what songs you can make!

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