Nature orchestra

Form a grass brass band! Use rocks as castanets! Make a maraca!

A single blade of grass can make the most magnificent sound. Make instruments from natural materials together, and host a concert in your own garden.


Start a grass brass band

  1. Choose your grass carefully. We recommend using a fairly wide blade of grass, but you can experiment with different widths and heights until you find the sound and tone you like best. Just make sure there aren’t any insects resting on the grass, or you’ll both get a surprise when you start to play!
  2. Get your child to put their thumbs together. The blade of grass should fit perfectly within the gap between them.
  3. Press your lips to your thumbs – with the grass between them – and blow as hard as you can! The grass should make a raucous wail.
  4. If the noise you’ve just managed to make wasn’t loud enough, make an even louder one. Your child can achieve this by simply piercing a small hole in the blade of grass with their fingernail, which should increase the volume.
  5. Gather friends and family, and attempt the challenge at the same time. Volia! You’ve formed a grass brass band!


Rock castanets

  1. Gather some pebbles and rocks. Bash them together! What noises can you create? 

Trivia: In Hawaii, some dancers draw upon Polynesian tradition, and perform the ‘ili’ili dance. Holding smooth river stones in their hands, they tap them together in a manner similar to castanets.


Natural maracas

  1. Gather some natural materials, ideally opting for a range of sizes and textures (e.g some seeds, some rice, and some flour).
  2. Gather an assortment of containers with lids, such as a water bottle, a tupperware container, and a plastic coffee cup.
  3. Experiment by placing different materials in different containers, and shaking each like a maraca. What noises can you create?