Simple Shakers, Two Ways

Veronika and I made two versions of homemade maracas today, all from upcycled items!

The first suggestion came from the Toddler’s Busy Book, where the author originally suggests filling old film canisters with beads, buttons, or similar small items (pebbles, dried beans, etc.). But who has film canisters anymore? But the toy medicine jars from Veronika’s vet set are nearly identical to this throwback, in terms of shape, size, and color. The perfect vessel to be our shakers!

I filled one jar with beads and another with buttons, for contrast, and put the lids on firmly. We loved having an early morning dance party and shaking along!

The second version was the perfect way to upcycle plastic Easter eggs. I used six eggs total and three different items (beads, buttons, and pennies), adding each item to two eggs. Hot glue the eggs shut, then set out. Now it was a bit of a guessing game! The trick is to see if your toddler can find the “match” for each egg by listening to the different sounds. To make the task easier, both eggs with buttons were blue, both eggs with beads were pink, and so forth.

The easiest for her to distinguish were the pennies, since they made such a loud clang. Buttons and beads were harder to tell apart.

But no matter what was inside, these sure were fun to shake!


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