There are many developers out there making apps for ages 5 and below, but few are as consistent as Duckie Deck. Focusing on digital toys, their apps are always well made and interesting. Case in point: their latest app Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra, which allows kids to customize and play 20 unique musical instruments made from everyday objects. From shakers made with marble-filled jars to pot lid-turned-cymbals, you will find a diverse set of sounds in the app.
Make Music with Everyday Objects
Homemade Orchestra comes with two game modes. First, there’s the Play mode, where can combine up to eight instruments to play a song. When you choose this mode, you will see a 3x3 grid occupied by unique DIY instruments from a cooking pot drum set and a squeaking rubber ducky to clapping hands. You can tap on any tile to turn on or off the instrument as you like. Additionally, you can shuffle the instruments available to you by tapping on the Shuffle button.
The second mode is Explore, where you play with a single instrument at a time. Unlike in Play mode, the instruments do not auto-play so you have the opportunity to experiment with each instrument’s sounds.
Parents Need to Know
Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra features colorful graphics and fun sound effects that engage the players. It is intuitive and easy to use. What’s more, the design makes it possible to play alone, or together with family and friends. No reading is necessary to use the app.
The app contains all the safety features you’d want in a children’s app. It has no ads, no in-app purchases, and no external links. No Internet connection is required to play.
DIY Instrument Ideas You Can Make at Home
A great thing about Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra is that you can replicate the activities in it at home for off-screen learning. Just like in the app, you can use any object found around the house. Encourage your child to be creative by letting her experiment with sounds made by different objects.
For starters, here are some ideas for DIY instruments you can make at home:
You’ll need: an empty tissue box, some rubber bands, crayons and stickers
How to make it: Take some rubber bands and wrap them around an empty tissue box, making sure that the bands lie over the top of the opening of the box. For an extra fancy guitar, decorate with paint and stickers.
You’ll need: an empty toilet paper roll, wax paper, rubber bands, scissors, crayons and stickers
How to make it: Find an empty toilet paper roll and a piece of wax paper. Cut a circle from the wax paper then tie it over one end of the toilet paper roll with a rubber band. Ta-da! You’re ready to play your kazoo!
You'll need: an empty tin, some grains (rice, macaroni, etc)
How to make it: Shakers are extremely easy to make. Just find an empty cookie tin and fill it with sand, rice, macaroni or any granular objects you can find around the house. The sound of the shaker will depend on what you put inside, so experiment with different contents to know what works for you!
Things I Like
Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra is a fun app that encourages kids to be creative. By showing that various instruments can be made using with everyday things, it invites you to think out of the box and tinker. There is a lot of opportunity to extend the activities off-screen, which I really like.
I also like that there are two approaches to play the game: independently or together. This allows parents to join in on the fun and bond with their kids over music. Who knows, it might encourage kids to pick up an instrument or two! Quick tip: if you install the app on several devices and play in Explore mode, you can create an orchestra with your family and friends!
The only downside to this app (and any other musical-making app for kids, really) is that the music can get tiresome after a while. So if you’re not one to tolerate these things, it might be good to limit play hours.
Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra is afun digital toy that allows kids to play with musical instruments made from everyday objects. The open-ended gameplay brings out the creativity in kids, and the DIY elements make it possible to extend learning off-screen. Recommended for ages 5 and under.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Duckie Deck
Duckie Deck’s biggest goal is to support healthy and well-rounded development in the youngest technology users, while also creating opportunities for learning and play to extend beyond the virtual world. They cover some of the most essential points needed to form healthy personal and social habits – like brushing your teeth, sharing with others and caring for the environment.
You should also check out two of their previous apps that we’ve reviewed:
Duckie Deck Giggle Glass -- An app that will literally change your perspective. It uses the device’s camera and more than 10 silly filters to alter your surroundings. You can adjust the effects to get different results, and take snapshots of what you see. The one-touch interface makes it easy to use by ages 5 and under. Beware, it will send your kids on a photo-frenzy!
Duckie Deck Trash Toys -- A fun app that lets juniors ages 2+ create toys from unused things found around the house. It helps them learn about upcycling, recycling, and caring for the environment. It also inspires parents to set up a parent-child recycling weekend at home.