Photographed by Enrico Spadoni

Avoid the begging for screens and the whines of “I’m bored” with a bit of colorful creativity. Craft simple wind instruments from drinking straws and strike up a summertime band.

1. CREASE THE STRAW

Pinch the end of the straw tightly together, creasing the sides from the tip to about 1 inch down.

2. SHAPE THE END

Trim the tip of the straw on both sides along the length of the pinched area. You want a good point at the end of the straw.

3. CUT HOLES

About a third of the way down the straw, use your scissors, wire or other cutters to make two angled cuts forming a diamond-shaped hole in the straw. Add two more holes spaced evenly down the length of the straw.

PLAY IT

Place the pointed end of the straw in your mouth. Push down with your lips to help squeeze the straw and blow hard to make the pointy tips vibrate together — like the reed in a real oboe.

Cover and uncover the holes to play different notes.

GOING FURTHER

Try adding more holes to your straw. How about a series of straws, but instead of poking holes, you make them all different lengths? Try using a piano or guitar tuner on a smartphone to make a straw oboe that hits a note perfectly.