Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Musical Shaker Craft

A few weeks ago I did a really easy and fun craft with my daughter.  My almost-3yr-old loves doing art projects, but sometimes she'll sit down for a project, spend 5 minutes on it, and decide she's finished.  I wanted to do a craft that we could work on over multiple days and play with. I decided to have the little one create a musical shaker instrument.


  • Two paper plates (ours are eco-friendly)
  • Supplies for decorating the plates (markers, paper, glitter, ribbon)
  • Glue
  • Something to fill the shaker instrument (macaroni noodles, pebbles, or beans will work well, but beware of chocking hazards for young children)

I had my daughter decorate the plates.  She was really interested in gluing that day, so I cut pieces of colored paper for her to stick to the bottom of both plates.  We let these dry until the following day. Next she attached ribbons and put a layer of glue around the edge of the plate. It doesn't have to be perfect: let your child have some fun and get messy as she builds her hand-eye coordination.  She placed a few handfuls of noodles into the center of the plate. We pressed the second plate onto the ring of glue and let that dry overnight.  The next day we had a usable shaker instrument to play with!  I had my daughter select some music, and we tried using the instrument in different ways by shaking it slowly or quickly to the beat.

This project may seem simple, but it's loaded with opportunities for learning.  A few skills and concepts featured in this project are:

  • Fine motor skills:  the creation/decoration of the project
  • Creativity: expressing themselves through art
  • Decision making: making choices about the project
  • Science: concept of sound (the noodles are making that noise)
  • Music: rhythm and dancing
Parent-directed crafts are great, but be sure to give your child lots of freedom in the decoration and construction of their musical instrument.  Most of all, let them have fun and enjoy it once it's finished!

1 comment:

  1. love this! especially that you made it a multi-day project. great job!