We’ve been making musical shakers today!  And we ended up attempting three different types of shakers…

#1:  Cardboard Tube Shakers

First, we made cardboard tube shakers.  We made four and filled them with four different things:  rice, pennies, jingle bells, and beads.  Gluing construction paper over the ends of the tubes ended up being kind of tedious, and I was really the only one who could do that job.  Owen was happy with the finished product, but I thought that the cardboard tube construction sort of held everyone back from just exploring different sounds.

#2:  Exploring sounds by filling ready-made containers

After lunch, I put out various containers with lids and bowls with rice, beans, beads, marbles, and rocks so that the boys could explore the different sounds the objects would make in the different containers.  Doesn’t this look fun?

Actually, it was a disaster.

The boys filled their containers by mixing everything (well, filled is a strong word because most of it ended up all over the floor).  Then Owen tried shaking his container, but the lid wasn’t exactly on all the way… It was about 3 minutes of fun followed by 30 minutes of clean-up.  The beads just kept bouncing around the tile floor when I tried to sweep them up, and we’ve been fishing missed items out of the dog’s mouth all afternoon.  Ugh.

#3: Easter Egg Shaker Match-up Game

Pinterest to the rescue!  I found this idea for an Easter Egg Shaker Match-up Game on Family Sponge, and Aidan and I quickly put it together during nap time.

We filled two eggs each with pinto beans, sea shells, pennies, rice, beads, and marbles.  I sealed each egg with packing tape to keep Owen from just dumping the eggs out wherever now that we have a baby playing on the floor!

Gresham (age 5) had a lot of fun matching the eggs by listening to the sounds!  It was a good challenge for him – it took three tries to get them all matched correctly. This will also be a great game to have on hand to do with violin students who come to my house.

So, to recap:  The cardboard tube shakers have a really nice sound, and Owen is enjoying playing with them.  They were just a pain to make.  I still like option #2 for exploring the sounds more independently, but if we do it again, I’ll give them only one type of “shaker filler” at a time.  Or do it outside.  The Easter Egg Match-up is clearly the winner in my book!  Easy to make, and now we have an activity that we can do over and over.  Owen (age 3) seems a little young for matching them up, but he really likes all the different sounds.

Time to go get some more beads and rice off the floor…


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  1. Kim Mar 25, 2013

    Thank you so much for this idea! I put it together right after I saw your pin and my boys had so much fun matching and then guessing what was in the eggs. After they played my game, they searched the house for things they could put into their eggs and made me match and guess. They can't wait to have Daddy play tonight. Thanks again! It was a gloomy afternoon lifesaver!

  2. teapigs May 18, 2013

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  3. cupoftea Mar 30, 2016

    Seems like a great way to keep the kids busy, will try to do this over the weekend. Thanks Sarah!


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