Calming exercise for children: homemade pan flute

It’s time for another instrument from my DIY series! This time we’re going to build a panpipe – also known as pan flute or syrinx. It’s a wind instrument named after Pan, the Greek god of nature often depicted with that kind of a flute.

A pan flute consists of several pipes of gradually increasing length – each of them produces a slightly different sound thanks to a different length of the vibrating air columns.

Wind instruments – great breathing exercise for children

It’s a wind instrument – so naturally there will be some blowing. And that’s a good thing since breathing exercises are not only an important part of speech therapy, but also an almost magical activity when it comes to calming people down, adults as well as kids. Sometimes just one minute of mindful breathing is enough to avoid hours of rows and fusses.

So if you’re having a bad day, the kids are screaming, not able to find themselves something to do, you’re tired and have it all up to here – wind instruments come to the rescue. If you feel like exploding… take a deep breath and announce that you’re going to work on a special project together.

Take a few straws, scissors, a wooden stick and some tape – and quickly build an easy instrument that will calm you ALL down! In a “critical” situation or on the verge of a row don’t even bother to search the house for special sticks, the straws alone will do the trick!

DIY: homemade pan flute

To build your own homemade pan flute you’ll need:

– straws – I’ve used 6, but if you have a few more or less, it’s ok

– sticky tapes – electrical tape will do pretty well, but if you want your instrument to look nice and colorful, you can go with colored sticky tapes

– scissors

– tongue depressors (medical wooden sticks) – they’re not expensive and you can get them for example on Amazon. They come very handy at home, not only for playing a doctor in a hospital! If you happen to have some ice cream sticks at home – they’ll do just as well. If you don’t have anything of that sort at hand, you’ll manage without the sticks – they add some stability to the instrument, but it can work just as well without them.

Step 1: Begin by cutting one of the straws in half.

Step 2: Cut every straw into two pieces – each at a slightly different point, so you have a set of straws of various lengths.

Step 3: Organize the straws from the shortest to the longest one. Align them, creating a mouthpiece.

Step 4: Take a tongue depressor and place it just a little below the mouthpiece. You can trim the stick a little if it’s too long.

Step 5: Using the tape secure the straws and the depressor together.

And that’s it! Your own homemade pan flute is ready to play!

Now you can play with your children and see for yourself the amazing calming power of this breathing exercise for children!

If you like this post, check my other DIY projects here.