How to make a musical washing line

A musical washing line will make an excellent addition to any school playground, being cheap and easy to make. For the Hampton Court show garden, Windmill first school and Loddon special school in Basingstoke made musical instruments from recycled and craft materials.l The washing line was made from two hazel posts and a thick garden rope. The posts were cemented into the ground and decorated with leaf patterns and brightly coloured string. Alternatively, use old piping to make a speaking pipe and add an extra sound dimension to your washing line. A speaking pipe is basically a long piece of piping, part of which is submerged under the ground, with a funnel attached to each end to speak into. When a child whispers into one end the sound comes out of the other.

* Windmill school used old pots and pans bought at a car boot sale to make instruments. Look for non-coated metal pans as these are easier to paint, and use a paint which is suitable for metal surfaces, such as multicrom translucent. Thread a thin rope through the handles to attach them to the washing line.

* Loddon school made a variety of instruments such as wind chimes, tambourines, shakers and rattles. To make a tambourine, superglue two plastic plant pot trays face together, decorate with acrylic or plastic paints and then drill 11 holes through the outer rim with a very fine drill bit. Thread a short length of galvanised wire through 10 of the holes, attaching a galvanised sleigh bell and securing tightly. Thread a longer piece of wire through the final hole to hang the tambourine up.

* To make a rattle, take four recycled tin cans, preferably of different sizes, and remove any sharp edges with a metal file (cover with duck tape or clay for extra protection). Drill a small hole in the bottom of each can, big enough to thread a piece of wire through. Decorate the cans with metal paints. Once dry, thread the cans on to a long piece of wire, using beads and washers to stop them sliding up and down.

* To make a shaker, fill a piece of strong plastic tube with shells, buttons or beads. Superglue the stoppers (plastic stoppers from a poster tube are best) to each end and decorate the tubes. Screw a small eyelet through the end of each tube and superglue around the hole. Once dry, thread galvanised wire through the eyelets and attach to the washing line.

* To make a wind chime, take six lengths of copper piping. Drill a series of holes along the length of each piece of pipe, passing through both sides. Attach sleigh bells to each piece of piping and then wire them together.

* Finally, string the wooden spoons up to use as beaters.

Martha Godfrey is project manager of the Growing Schools garden. Contact:

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you