The last two days I went to a music conference. The first day it was held at the new Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Az. http://www.themim.org/ Wow! If you live in the valley, this is a “must see” museum. They have over 10,000 musical instruments and objects from almost every country. There is a self guided tour complete with headsets so you can watch and listen to video clips of the featured instruments. The also have The Experience Gallery which is a hands-on room where you can actually play lots of the instruments seen in the other galleries.
Of course, my favorite room was the Gift Shop. I bought an instrument that I can use at school and I know my students will absolutely love it! It’s called a Thunder Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aos0Y53_R0Y. I had so much fun playing with it and so did all the adult family members who came for Sunday dinner tonight (unfortunately the only "kid" was my 4 month old grandson).
I want to make a thunder tube and so I looked up on the internet how to do it. Naturally, there were several posts. http://www.escapadedirect.com/thtuasoex.html, http://mypages.iit.edu/~smile/weekly/mp121002.html My favorite post said to use a Pringles potato chip can for the tube.
This would be a fun activity to involve your whole family in and you would not only be making a fun new musical instrument, but learning some science principles at the same time.