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Simple shaker

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Effective musical shakers for children to enjoy

It can be hard to decorate plastic bottles, particularly if they don’t have a smooth surface. This tissue paper pâpier-maché technique results in a durable finish but, because of the quantity of glue used, needs a long time to dry. If you put interesting items inside the shaker, e.g. coloured beads, coloured pasta or ‘bits and bobs’, you could leave it transparent or just decorate it with a few ribbons.

You will need:

  • A small plastic bottle. Top tip – the smaller the bottle, the easier it will be for the child to hold. I have used bottles from yoghurt drinks(with the tabs cut off the lids) and mineral water. However, for hygiene reasons , avoid drinks bottles with ‘sports caps’ as the children will then be tempted to suck them.
  • ‘Rattley’ filling, e.g. rice, pasta, dried peas, beads. Top tip – different fillings result in different sounds.
  • Tissue paper
  • PVA glue and spreader
  • Sticky tape
  • Ribbons (optional)

How to make:

1. Put some ‘rattley’ filling in the bottle and seal securely. Top tip – the lid or contents could present a choking hazard to a young child, so it is important to seal them securely. I found that sticky tape was the most effective method.

2. Cover the bottle with plenty of PVA glue and stick on overlapping squares of tissue paper. Coat with yet more PVA glue and leave to dry overnight.

3. Tie ribbons on (optional).

Simple shakers