Now that Easter is over, it is time to confiscate all those plastic Easter eggs probably lying around the house void of the yummy treats once inhabited inside, or check out the clearance sales or dollar store and purchase them for cheap because now is the season to make some fun-to-use. . .
EGG-CITING EGG SHAKERS!!!
This is a great, easy rhythm instrument to make that doesn't cost much (hey, you may already have everything just sitting around the house) and the kids will love them as they learn songs through rhythm. You play the eggs similar to maracas by shaking them to the beat or to add accents to the rhythm. An accent example would be like; shake—shake—shake-a—shake-a—shake. Can you hear me saying this and visualize me shaking my egg?
"Shake—shake—shake-a-shake-a—shake!"LOL Yeah, so hard to demonstrate this in words. These are great to use in nursery too!
HERE'S HOW TO MAKE THEM
- Plastic Easter eggs
- Filling: rice, popcorn kernels, lentils, barley, beans, etc.
- Experiment with each to see what sound you like the best. I first made mine with rice but soon discovered after the first use that the plastic eggs have some small air holes in them and some of the smaller pieces of rice came out on the floor when the kids shook them. So I redid them using popcorn kernels. HAH! Now those suckers won't pop out of the holes!
- Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
- I tried a variety of glues and the hot glue seemed to work the best.
- Ribbon, optional
- Egg cartons for storage or some other container like a box, bag or basket.
- Open the plastic egg separating it into the two pieces.
- If the egg is hinged, you may want to cut the hinge off to make it easier for gluing.
- If you use these for nursery, depending on how rough your little ones can be, you may want to glue the ribbon around the seam for added security. See the one lone egg with the ribbon around its middle in the picture below. Unfortunately, I have not gotten around to finishing putting ribbon on the eggs. Someday...
And there you have it! Easy-peasy!
OTHER IDEAS FOR PLAYING THEM
- There are two main ways to hold the egg shakers: one is simply in the palm of your hand shaking up and down, which is usually the easiest. Another way is holding the larger end of the egg between your fingers (mainly with your thumb and first two fingers) with the pointed end facing out in a forward position and shaking it in a forward and back pattern. In this position, the filler has a little more room to go back-and-forth in making it a little easier to do more accent-type shaking as well as being able to do a good, crisp shake.
- Alternate shakes raising your hand up and down.
- Do a couple of shakes above the head and a couple at chest level or to each side of the body.
- Do a strong shake on the downbeat and soft shakes on the other beats or every-other beat.
- Alternate each side of the room having the children shaking their eggs to the beat.
- Tap the egg shaker in the opposite hand in different beat or rhythm patterns.
- With the older kids, have them snap their fingers or slap their thigh on the downbeat with one hand and shake the egg on the other beats with the other hand.
- Shake to the rhythm of the song while pitch leading. It is easier to do this holding the egg in the second position I mentioned above with the pointed end of the egg facing out while holding between the fingers.
- March or incorporate some other movement while shaking the eggs.
- For an added choose and review fun activity, you could fill several plastic eggs each with a different filling as mentioned above as well as other household items like paper clips, marbles, coins, jingle bells, buttons, pasta, small toys, etc. Go with the jumbo sized eggs for extra oomph on this one. Then shake an egg and let the kids guess what is inside the egg. You could give them a hint by listing the different fillings or showing a sample of the fillings and seeing if they can match the eggs up one-by-one. When they guess one of them right, sing the song you have assigned that egg. Continue singing the assigned songs as they guess each one.
NOW, GO GET SHAKING!!!