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How to make a music shaker

What you need

  • Empty containers 
  • Household items that you do not mind being trapped inside your empty containers


During this activity, your child can use their own ideas to explore what items may make different sounds. They are able to create their own resources and explore what sounds different items can make.

It’s also good to reuse the items and this can lead on to a chat about recycling and trying to limit our waste.

The experience

Once you have saved up a few empty plastic containers wash them out and get searching.

With your child, have a little think what you could put inside to turn these bottles into an instrument. Some examples could be:


  • Coffee beans
  • Pasta
  • Beads
  • Rice
  • Buttons
  • Small pieces of foil rolled into balls


Then get making: you can extend this by using simple language such as ‘empty, full, light, heavy’ to differentiate from the bottles.

Once the bottles are full (and tightly sealed), get shaking!  Explore what different sounds you can make with your new instrument; can you shake them fast, slow, up high, down low? Put some music on and enjoy shaking your instruments and showing off your dance moves!