Thursday 30 July 2020
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Ages 7-9 (KS2)
    Age 9-11 (KS2)

Keeping Spirits Up

CBBC Presenter Ben Shires presents a family mission all about Second World War veteran and ukulele player Thomas Boardman. Watch your mission briefing to find out how you can make your own music just like Tom!

Mission Briefing

Mission Briefing

Part of the Family Mission series created during the UK lockdown in Spring 2020.

Don’t worry about playing freestyle as the musical maestros at IWM have whipped up some instructions for you to make your very own ukulele all from everyday objects you can find in your home! 


You will need a cereal box, a long cardboard tube (you can find these in wrapping paper tubes or stick together toilet roll holders), string, glue and scissors for a grown up to use.


Family Mission: Make Your Own Music 1

1. First use a pencil to make a hole in the bottom half of the front of your cereal box. Then ask your grown up to cut out a circle for you.

Family Mission: Make Your Own Music 2

2. Use the pencil to pierce five holes at the top and bottom of the box for your strings. Watch your fingers here!

Family Mission: Make Your Own Music 3

3. Cut down into the middle of both long edges of the lid and bend the cardboard back to create two folds.

Family Mission: Make Your Own Music 4

4. Then take your string and thread it into the holes you made earlier, make sure you tie secure knots at the ends to stop it unravelling.

5. You can use some spare cardboard from the circle you cut out to create detail underneath your strings. Glue each one down under the strings on the top and the bottom.

6. Glue the top of the cereal box back down and place some glue on each of the flaps you created earlier.

7. Now insert the cardboard tube to make the Ukulele’s handle. The glue needs some time to set but you can use sticky tape to make it extra secure like Ben did.

And there you have it! You’ll be jamming with the best of them and keeping your family’s spirits up with your home made ukulele!

Related Content

Land Girls, some in uniform, some in mufti, dance with British soldiers at a dance in a large hall, near to their camp in Culford, Suffolk.
Second World War
Popular Pastimes And Entertainment In The Second World War
Entertainment during the Second World War provided civilians with a form of escape from the hardships of wartime life. It was equally important to those serving in the forces, both in Britain and overseas.
Evacuees from London explore the Devon countryside
Evacuees from London explore the Devon countryside © IWM D 2222
Home Learning Hub
From spies to submarines and life on the Home Front, Imperial War Museums is bringing history into the homes of families across the world, sharing unique and personal stories from our extraordinary collections.