This is one drum that you will happily let your kids play in the house.
We learned how to make child-sized tom tom drums on our recent trip to the Getty Villa in Malibu. The drums were easy to make, held together, and held interest for weeks. Making balloon drums would be a great birthday party activity. Add costumes, paper crowns, and maracas for a music parade around the block.
8" or 10" cardboard tubes - sold as "concrete forms" at Home Depot (an oatmeal container, soup can, or roll of duct tape work well too)
Heavy duty latex balloon (suitable for helium tanks) a few inches larger than the diameter of your cylinder
Colored construction paper
Scissors, glue, and a hole-punch
1) Cut the cardboard concrete form into 2-3" rings using a hack saw. Or, persuade one of the friendly Home Depot employees to cut it down for you with the store saw. The cardboard forms are usually about 48" long so you can make a lot of drums. If you only want to make one, an oatmeal container, soup can, or roll of duct tape would work well.
2) Stretch the deflated balloon repeatedly to loosen it up.
3) Snip off the open end of the latex balloon. We used 11" balloons for 8" cardboard rings. You need to be able to stretch the open end of the balloon all the way over the top of the cardboard ring, over the sides, and across the back (see photo).
4) Tie a long loop of curling ribbon underneath the open end of the drum with a long "necklance" loop extending around both sides with the loop at the top (see photo at top of page).
5) Decorate and hole-punch a strip of construction paper as long as the circumference of the cardboard ring and the same width. Glue the paper around the edge of the ring, over the curling ribbon to secure it.
6) Give your kids a pair of unsharpened pencils to drum away.
7) Feel super crafty and wholesome with your homemade music party.
Here is a good video on tom tom drums on ehow: http://www.ehow.com/video_4428434_make-drum-using-container-balloons.html