For MASS MoCA’s third annual three-day FreshGrass Festival of bluegrass and roots music, the Kidspace ArtBar and staff moved outside to host the FreshKids art-making tent. Overlooking Joe’s Field— the weekend’s largest outdoor venue—the FreshKids tent provided families with materials to fabricate their own bluegrass-inspired masterpieces while enjoying the festivities. To the backdrop of bluegrass music, kids of all ages created musical instruments, CD covers, and leaf prints on sheet music. Visitors (including parents!) made and played kazoos, banjos, and tambourines. One young visitor named Ily invented a maraca instrument (appropriately deemed the “Ily Maraca”), which ended up being one of the most popular art projects for the remainder of the festival.
Disappointed you couldn’t attend this year’s festival? You just can’t wait until next year to join in on all the fun? Or, if you did attend, you didn’t have time to make all of the FreshKids projects? Here are step-by-step instructions for how to make your own kazoo…
You will need:
- Toilet paper or paper towel roll
- Plastic tubing (we used fish tank tubing, but you can use anything you find around the house)
- Duct tape
- Decorating materials
- Make the mouthpiece. Place the plastic tubing so it is half in and half out of the balloon; attach it by wrapping around a skinny piece of duct tape. (Make sure that when you blow into the balloon that it fills with air.)
- Attach the balloon. Cut a small piece off the opposite end of the balloon. Pull the balloon about a quarter to half way down over the toilet paper or paper towel roll as if you are putting a sock on a foot. Apply a piece of duct tape to ensure that the balloon stays on the roll.
- Decorate your kazoo. Use more duct tape, stickers, markers, or anything else you have.
- Play the kazoo! The trick to playing the kazoo is to pull the mouthpiece down and away from the instrument’s base. The instrument should make a loud horn noise, almost like a saxophone.
Photo Credit: Danielle Poulin