Be a bushcraft busker

Have a go at being a bushcraft busker by making your own instruments from nature. The video below will give you lots of ideas for starting a bushcraft busking band using rattles, shakers, windpipes, grass trumpets and beaters. Or have a go designing something new like wind chimes or flutes. Don’t forget to share your music with us.

What you will need:


  • Sticks


  • A long piece of grass for a trumpet


  • A y-shaped stick
  • Elastic bands


  • Small containers
  • Small stones or rice


  • Elder branches
  • Secateurs (must be used under supervision)
  • Tent peg
  • String

How to make your instruments:


  1. Use sticks to beat out a rhythm- experiment with different objects to get different sounds


  1. Place a blade of grass flat on the soft part of your thumb.
  2. Hold it in place with your other thumb so that the blade of grass is tight between your two thumbs.
  3. There should be a gap between your two thumbs where the grass is secured.
  4. Blow through the gap over the grass.
  5. It should vibrate between your thumbs and make a sound.
  6. this is tricky to master but keep trying.


  1. Find a y-shaped stick.
  2. Use elastic bands or tight string and wrap this between the y of your stick.
  3. Strum. (Try tightening the elastic does the tone change?)


  1. Use containers like small yogurt pots
  2. Add small stones or rice to the pots (different sized items make different noises. Experiment with this).
  3. Shake


  1. Cut your elder to size using secateurs (adult supervision required). Different lengths produce different notes.
  2. Elder has a soft pith which can be easily removed using a tent peg.
  3. Try leaving a bit of pith in one end of your pipes to get a better sound.
  4. Lay your pipes out in length order- ascending to descending.
  5. Tie your pipes together with string (this can be hard work and an extra pair of hands helps).


This activity was developed as part of the Let’s Notice Nature initiative of Earn Your Stripes,

in partnership with Scottish Badgers.

Share your creations using #DiscoverLearnPlay

Time to complete

30 mins

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Expressive Arts (Music)


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