By: Rebecca Michelsen, M.Ed., MCHES, Community Outreach & Education Specialist, Penfield Children’s Center
Music is a great way for children to learn and develop their skills while having some fun. One fun way to do this is by making your own maracas at home. Children will work on fine motor skills while scooping the filler and holding the egg. These activities will aide in the development of small muscles groups that will assist with holding a cup, spoon or future writing skills. This activity contains materials that may present a choking hazard for young children. Make sure to supervise young children when building and playing with homemade maracas.
Here is what you will need:
- Plastic eggs
- Plastic spoons
- Filler – Popcorn kernels, uncooked rice, dried beans, pony beads, other small items of choice that makes noise
- Tape (For young children, choose a tape that is difficult to peel off)
Creating your maracas:
- Have your child place the filler of choice in the egg. It can be fun to try out different types of fillers. Different types of filler and the amount of filler you use will change how your maraca sounds. We used popcorn kernels and found that about two spoonfuls (or enough to fill the bottom half of the egg) gave us a good sound.
- Close the egg tight. If you have young children or are concerned about your child opening the egg, you can either tape or glue the seam of the egg.
- Take two spoons and place them together so the heads of the spoons are facing each other. Then take a small piece of tape and tape the handles together.
- Place the egg between the head of the two spoons. With the tape, start wrapping the egg and the spoons until they are covered.
When you have completed your maracas, try some fun activities to support your child’s development.
- Dance to the beat. Build your child’s gross motor skills by dancing and shaking your maraca to the beat of your favorite song.
- Play a game of follow the leader. Test your child’s cognitive and listening skills by playing a simple rhythm with your maraca then ask your child to repeat the rhythm back to you with their maraca.
- Build speech and language skills. Use the maraca to help your child hear the syllables in the words by shaking the maraca for each syllable.
What other musical activities do you like to do with your child?