In the past I’ve used bits and pieces collected from the Autumn countryside to make a little soundscape.
Sticks, knocked or rubbed together.
Dried Autumn leaves to rustle through (it’s a very good idea to try and contain the leaves in a large cardboard box!).
Conkers or hazelnuts or acorns or sycamore keys inside empty plastic boxes or bottles to shake and rattle.
Water, poured from one jug into another, or a bucket. (Use small buckets, small plastic jugs or even cups and teapots from the play house. Do all the pouring over a deep tray to keep most of the water under control).
Half-fill a plastic bottle, and blow into the water through a straw to create hubble-bubble sounds.
A bucket of gravel to shake, or stir with a stick. WARNING – don’t be tempted to click larger stones together. You might be ok, but sometimes bits can chip off certain types of pebble and fly off in unexpected directions – disaster if someone gets a stone chip in their face.
It was good fun, first to assemble the “instruments”, and then to explore the sounds.
We then created a programme/story/series of events, notated it with a graphic score (lots of pictures, shapes, lines, and autumn colours) and performed it. Once we had run it through once or twice, we recorded it and listened to the performance, discussing how it went. What worked well, what could be done better, whether we achieved the effect.
With Very Careful Supervision it wasn’t appallingly messy, and clearing up was straightforward. Most “instruments” ended up in the compost bin or the recycling bin. It won’t break your music budget either!