make your own musical instruments: shakers

March 26, 2010


Juliet and I made our own "shakers" the other day in an attempt to make our own instruments. 


We gathered some empty bottles from the recycle box--I had two empty lotion bottles, an empty shampoo bottle, an empty vitamin bottle, and also an empty facial scrub container. Oh yes. And an empty water bottle. 

Any plastic bottle/container would work. I think the vitamin ones are especially nice because they have the child safety lids on them. This ensures your child will not open them later and dump out the contents! 

Be sure you wash out the lotion/shampoo completely before filling with beans--I didn't get one of them quite clean enough and it really bogged the beans down. We ended up throwing it away. 

(You probably noticed that I decorated the bottles prior to giving them to Juliet--this is not a necessary step at all--I printed out some fun paper at lovelydesign (patterns) and then I found the vintage playing card at lil blue boo. Both were free printables.) 


Any time Juliet gets to use a funnel, she gets really excited. I laid all the bottles out and had several bowls filled with different kinds of beans and rice. I told her she could fill them however she wanted--she thought this was great fun. 


She had different tools to scoop and pour with and she tried them all!


This medicine spoon worked well for the lentils.


 After filling the bottles about a fourth of the way full, we put the caps on and then shook them.  We tried to see if different beans sounded differently when we shook them. Turns out--they do sound differently!


I think Juliet's favorite shaker was the one with rice in it. It had the most satisfying shake. We put all our shakers in a basket and have them ready for music time. 

Ten in the Bed
I have a great list of song books for you to check out if you haven't already, but one we recently checked out from the library is called Ten in the Bed by Jane Cabrera. I'm not sure if it is actually a song book, but we sang it to the familiar tune. You can always just read the words to this one if you don't know the tune. 

This book features a little mouse who wears a sleeping cap. I guess Juliet had never seen a sleeping cap before, but she really liked the idea and has been wearing her winter hat to bed every night this past week as her sleeping cap!

Update: I had to add this amazing idea--Ticia @ Adventures in Mommydom suggested that we make some shakers using plastic eggs! What a great way to reuse the millions of Easter eggs we have all over the house! I think we'll fill a few eggs after Easter is over and keep them in our music basket the rest of the year. Thanks for the great idea, Ticia!

6 comments:

Ticia said...

I love Ten in a Bed. You could also do this with plastic eggs.......

Julie said...

What a great project! I love the labels on the bottles too!

Brimful Curiosities said...

We love our shakey eggs --- sing along with Laurie Berkner's "I know a Chicken" for extra skakey fun.

April said...

I read a book called 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities and it has inspired me to use instruments for more than just free play. I just made some egg shakers this week but I haven't got around to posting about it yet. I love your decorated bottles, so pretty!

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

Great idea to give her different scoopers, bottles, and fillers! It's a fabulous sensory exercise. We did the egg shakers last summer (and here I was thinking it was an original idea). They're still a favorite toy!

http://littlepageturners.blogspot.com/2009/08/making-music-part-1-jazzy-fly-and-some.html

Kevin and Kristina said...

I need to get a funnel. We love making instruments at our house, so this looks like a lot of fun!!

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