The summer holidays are in full swing and finding ways to fill the time are surely high on every parent’s priorities. So at The Big Issue we’ve teamed up with science teacher and writer Alom Shaha as part of our Summer Survival Guide, helping parents across the country find cheap or free ways to have fun, cut costs and keep their little ones happy.
If there’s one thing most kids love it’s making lots of noise. So this week Mr Shaha shows us how to make a handy harmonica out of little more than ice-lolly sticks and rubber bands. (Top tip: damp toilet paper stuffed in your ears make great earplugs!)
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Make Mr Shaha’s handy harmonica
“According to NASA, the first musical instruments ever taken into space were a harmonica and some jingle bells,” says Mr Shaha. “Astronauts Walter Schirra and Tom Stafford smuggled the instruments on board the Gemini VI spacecraft in December 1965 and used them to play a surprise rendition of the Christmas song ‘Jingle Bells’ for a radio transmission back to Earth.
“You might not get the chance to take this home-made harmonica into space, but with a bit of practice, you might be able to play a song or two to surprise your friends and family.”
Ready? Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 wooden ice-lolly sticks (clean and dry)
- 1 wide rubber band
- 4 small rubber bands
- 1 piece of scrap paper
Once you’ve got all the bits and bobs together, follow these directions to make your harmonica. And if you get stuck you can watch the video allow to help you along.