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story.lead_photo.caption (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Celia Storey)

You can turn a cardboard tube into a kazoo as easy as one, two, three.

You will need:

• pencil with a sharpened point

a cardboard tube like the ones inside toilet paper and paper towels.

• scissors

• waxed paper, tissue paper or cooking parchment

• rubber band

1. Use the sharpened pencil to poke a hole about a half-inch from one end of the tube. Use your free hand to support the tube from the inside so the edge doesn't bend inward too much while you twist the pencil. It would be smart to ask an adult for help if this step seems really hard.

2. Cut a square of tissue paper, wax paper or cooking parchment big enough to cover that end of the tube.

3. Use a rubber band to secure the paper to the end of the tube.

Hold the open end of the tube close to your mouth so it covers your lips. Don't blow. Instead, you must hum, sing or talk into the tube to enjoy the buzzing kazoo sound.

Try humming or singing the notes do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti and do from the Mary Poppins song "Do-Re-Mi." Notice that some of those notes buzz a lot while others don't buzz at all. How does the position of your lips change when you say, sing or hum those notes?

What if you want to reuse your tube for another purpose?

That's easy, too.

1. Take off the paper and the rubber band.

2. Put tape over the hole you punched with that pencil.

A kazoo is a musical instrument also called a mirliton. It changes the quality of a sound by channeling it through a membrane that vibrates differently than air vibrates.

If you play your kazoo a lot, moisture from your breath can dampen the buzzing sound. Too many wrinkles in the paper also make the buzzing less noticeable. To solve that problem, replace the paper.

The tubes that come with toilet paper are kazoo length. Will longer tubes work, too? What about the tube from a roll of paper towels? What about a wrapping paper tube? Experiment with different tubes to hear what happens.

Report your findings in the comments below, or email ADG Families at

ADG Families on 04/15/2020

Print Headline: One, two, make your own kazoo


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