Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How To Make Your Own Mariachi Band

Happy Cinco de Mayo! While there is an awful lot of history behind this Mexican holiday sometimes a kid just needs an excuse for a party. So, on this 5th of May pull out the most colorful streamers you have, decorate the house and make an impromptu musical party.

Let's see, some traditional mariachi band instruments include a violin, guitar and trumpet. That should be easy enough...

What You'll Need To Make All Three:
- 3 paper towel rolls (one for each instrument)
- 6 rubber bands (3 for the guitar, 3 for the violin)
- 2 rectangular tissue boxes (1 for the guitar, 1 for the violin)
- 2 straws or unsharpened pencils (1 for the guitar, 1 for the violin)
- scissors or a box cutter (for the adult only)
- pencil
- glue
- a whole mess of stickers, crayons and markers

For the trumpet all you'll need is to decorate a paper towel or toilet paper roll with some finger paints, crayons or markers. To make both a guitar and a violin (since its all in how you hold it) you can follow the same steps.
1. Grab an empty rectangular tissue box, turn it on its side and stand the paper towel roll on top of it. Trace around the roll and cut out the traced circle. Now you can slide part of the paper towel roll into the tissue box to serve as your guitar's/violin's handle. You may need to glue around the edges to secure it if you cut the hole to wide. If so, let it dry before moving on to the next step.
2. Pull out the paints, stickers, crayons and markers and let the kids go to town decorating their instruments. Remember if you do use finger paints to decorate your instruments you'll have to factor in drying time. For a last minute project it might be best to use markers and crayons instead.
3. Wrap 3 rubber bands of different widths around the box's pre-made opening to serve as your guitar/violin strings. Slide a straw or an unsharpened pencil under the rubber bands but before the box's opening to help with acustics. And voila you're ready to start your very own mariachi band! {tip: a long wooden spoon from the kitchen can serve as the violin's bow}

The best part about this project is that you're not only surprising your kids with an impromptu party but you are teaching them how with a little imagination you can recycle old junk into a lot of fun.

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