Straw Pan Flute

by , posted on February 28th, 2011 in Arts & Crafts

It’s music, math, and arts & crafts all rolled into one project. And this make your own straw pan flute activity is a great exercise in creativity too. I’m reminded of those creativity tests where they ask you how many uses can you come up for a common household object (paperclip, newspaper, etc)? In this case, boring old drinking straws are given a new lease on life as they transform into musical instruments.

What I like about this activity: it’s easy, kids can be almost exclusively independent with it, there’s room for experimentation (length of straws, developing patterns, etc) and it’s fun.

Bonus! Pair these flutes with Masquerade Masks and the kids can have one fantastic I-made-it-myself parade.


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6 Responses to “Straw Pan Flute”

  1. vegeteble gardener cook Says:

    November 15th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    maybe I’m doing something wrong, but mine don’t make much noise at all. Do they have to be somewhat larger straws?

  2. Rose Says:

    February 25th, 2012 at 6:35 am

    mine don’t make a noise either – just a blowing noise.

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Hi Rose,

    Since we just used plastic straws, you’re right, it’s not going to make a lot of noise. The opening of the hole on traditional straws is very small. But you can depending on how it’s tilted (make sure you’re blowing across the top not angled into the straw) make some noise.

    You can also experiment with wider straws. I don’t know if you can get them in the UK like you can here, but Bubble Tea Straws could be an interesting option. They’re much wider. It would make a great experiment for kids to see which makes more noise or if there’s any change.

  3. Mr. C Says:

    May 7th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Try plugging the bottom, then play around with the length a bit and you should be able to get a good tone.

  4. Crystal Says:

    September 26th, 2013 at 12:02 am

    We did this and it turned out great! I actually really like that the flute doesn’t make much noise. It makes a bit to keep my son happy and interested, but it’s not loud and obnoxious like so many DIY musical instruments are :)

  5. Make a Straw Pan Flute | The Science Kiddo Says:

    January 13th, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    [...] to Classic Play for the great idea and [...]

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