One activity that both our kids enjoy blends art and music: making and decorating their own rhythm shakers. We had so much fun with this, we did it again with friends for our 4th of July parade, and again for a MOPS Jamboree playdate!
You will need:
- Empty containers: No glass, please!
- Stickers or colored tape
- Noisy fillers
- Measuring spoons
- Funnel (you can roll a piece of paper)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Start with a couple of empty containers from the recycling bin. Clean, dry plastic bottles work fine (soda, water, milk jugs, popcorn seed jars, condiments, all shapes and sizes work fine, as long as they still have a lid or top...we even took the label off a white acetaminophen bottle), coffee cans, salt containers, etc.
- Decorate the containers: We take the labels off, when possible. Stickers or colored tape are easy and fun. Markers work well on cardboard containers, like salt or oatmeal cylinders. You could even decorate your own paper label and tape it on.
- Offer some different noise-making fillers, one type per container: a bowl of dry rice, a bowl of dry beans, small jingle bells, small pebbles, popsicle sticks, popcorn seeds...anything that will make a great sound inside the container.
- Just a tablespoon or two of filler is plenty for a shaker...this isn't going to deplete your rice or beans supply. Consider buying some just for crafts; they make great cheap collage material! A funnel helps younger kids get more filler into their bottle and less on the floor! We made one out of paper.
- Hot glue the lid on, so no accidental spills end the fun too soon. Just keep the hot glue gun out of reach of small hands.
- Notice with your child how each container sounds different. Talk about the different sounds. Why do you think the beans sound different than the rice? Is the rice louder or softer than the other materials? Etc.
- Put on some music or just sing a silly song and jam with your rhythm shakers!