Making a toy musical instrument, like a banjo, is a fun and easy craft that you can have your youngster help you with. Kids love hand crafts and will probably enjoy making the banjo as much as they'll like playing it. This project is made using materials that you probably already have, so it shouldn't cost you anything.
Use a pen or pencil to draw a circle on the center of the shoe box lid. The diameter should be roughly half the width of the lid. Cut the circle out with scissors. This will be the face of the banjo. Put the lid back on the box and secure it by taping the lip to the box all the way around it. Now you have the body of the banjo.
Have the child decorate the paper towel tube. This will be the banjo's neck. Also decorate the body of the banjo. If you're using paints or glued glitter, be sure to let them dry thoroughly before going any further.
Stretch the rubber bands around the banjo, making sure that they all cross over the body's hole.
Create a “bridge” on the banjo's face by sticking an old crayon under the strings just beyond the edge of the hole. Secure it into place with some clear tape. The bridge will improve the quality of sound the banjo will make.
Tape the banjo's neck to the end of the box opposite the bridge's location. Teach your child to play the banjo and sing the lyrics to “Oh, Susannah.”
Experiment with different rubber bands. Their thickness and tightness determine the pitch of the sounds that they will make.