This easy-to-make instrument just can't be beat -- no, wait, it can! It provides even the youngest musicians with a wonderfully rich and resonant sound. Click here for instructions on how to make the mallet drumsticks.
Remove the lid from a large, cylindrical oatmeal container. Cut out the bottom with a craft knife.
Cut a piece of Tyvek (what no-rip envelopes are made of; available at your local post office or at office supply stores) into a circle that's 4 inches wider than the mouth of the oatmeal carton. (For instance, if your container measures 5 inches across, the Tyvek should be 9 inches.) Don't worry about making the circle perfectly round; we traced the carton onto our envelope, then cut around it, keeping our scissors roughly 2 inches from that line.
If you like, have your child decorate the Tyvek with markers while you cut eight 2-inch lengths of packing or duct tape. Now tape the Tyvek over the mouth of the container. To get it as taut as possible, adhere 2 pieces of tape directly opposite each other after pulling the Tyvek tight between them. Continue in the same way around the container, until all 8 strips are applied in pairs (you'll need to gather the material slightly as you go). Finally, cut one last, longer piece of tape and wrap it all the way around the edge of the Tyvek.
Jazz up the drum by decorating it with heavy-duty wrapping paper or one of your child's drawings, held in place with packing tape or colorful duct tape.
To add to the fun: Make a few more in different sizes so your child can have a complete drum set.