How to make a Strawbo


This instrument is also known as a Straw Oboe.

There is nothing like creating sound with your children, this is a wonderful simple instrument, easy to make, using a straw. This is an instrument I learnt to make from Mark Cain.

The humble straw.

From the humble straw…

Mark is a wonderful instrument maker and musician based in Fremantle, Perth Western Australia. Check out his website

What you will need.

A pair of sharp scissors

A packet of straws any size will do.

How to make the strawbo.

1. Flatten the straw.


Make sure you have flattened the straw well below the cut as this is where the sound comes from.

2. Cut one side.

IMG_0122Make sure that you leave enough straw in the cut to leave a point at the top of the straw when you cut the other side.


3. Cut the other side.



How to play the strawbo.

Your instrument is ready to play, place between your lips, do not use your teeth. Relax the mouth and blow. You may need to work out where the right spot is to get a sound.

Do you want to know some of the educational benefits of making this instrument?

From being involved in this activity your children are learning a great deal about sound. This simple instrument is exposing your child to the production of sound without realising it.

  • They are learning to blow and isolate sound.
  • They are learning to manipulate their lips, tongue and mouth.
  • They are exposed to a double reed…such as the reed used by the Oboe in the Orchestra.
  • Develop discussions about other wind instruments.
  • They are developing an understanding of breath control.
  • Cutting the straws different lengths exposed children to higher and lower sounds.
  • Exploring long and short sounds.

When working with children I am always surprised how many children cannot whistle, simple actions like whistling and blowing are important to support vocal articulation and production of vowels and consonants in speech. It is interesting to note that behind this play, lessons useful to your child’s life experiences, are being assimilated.



For further information

Check out the Teacher’s Notes in the post The Reluctant Recorder Player on this web site.

Let me know how your straw oboe turned out.

Have fun with your children.

Thanks for dropping by.

best wishes,









6 Responses to “How to make a Strawbo”

  1. Thank you for a little task that can help create an fun exercise in fine motor work for my granddaughter. I expect she will have fun with the strawbo too.

    Your site’s concept is good. I’m always looking for things to do with the kids does’t involve screen time.


    • Thank you Linda for visiting, let me know how you get on with making the Strawbo with your granddaughter. best wishes Jackie

  2. It is looking pretty easy to make a strawbo. By using straw, I can make a fish, stars, flowers and more. I learned how to do these from my fiance.

    • Thanks Seth, sounds fantastic how can I find out how to make those things? best wishes Jackie

  3. This is a really interesting post indeed. I never knew it is also called as strawbo lol! Thanks for sharing your wonderful post on strawbo!



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