Music Shaker

I’ve made many version of the humble music shaker over the years. They are easy to put together and when my kids were young, they loved it!  I found the below video the other day of my son when he was about…2 and a half I think, and my heart just melted. It’s sooooo cute!  He’s now almost 7! If you haven’t made a music shaker before, below is the materials that I have used in the past to make them.

How to Make a Music Shaker


In the (absolutely adorable video) he sings a bit of Chuggington and finishes off with a touch of Octonauts.   Far out I’ve become nostalgic of late!  I think it’s knowing I’ve moved on from this stage, and I miss it, just a bit.

Make a Music Shaker

What I used to make music shakers over the years depended on the age of my child at the time, their interests and what I had available to me.  Clear plastic bottles work especially well so it doubles as a discovery bottle too!

1. Use

Smaller than 600ml containers works best. I think the 300ml and smaller bottles a particularly wonderful size for children’s hands.

  • Empty bottle 
  • Small plastic container with lid
  • Small study cardboard box (like gift boxes)
  • Empty cylinder  — postal cylinder or something like an empty Pringles chip packet

2. Fill with

  • Paper clips
  • Small pebbles
  • Small twigs
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Seed Pods
  • Star Anise
  • Beads
  • Rice
  • Coloured Rice
  • Pasta
  • Lentils
  • Sand
  • Dirt
  • 5 cent coins (or other small change)
  • Small shells
  • Buttons
  • Small plastic figures
  • Glitter, Sequins or Confetti (added with something heavy so it looks pretty but still makes a sound)

3. Secure

I find it’s a good idea to secure the lid to the base with a lot of tape so it doesn’t accidentally fall off (and supervise for small children who are still in the higher choking risk age category).

4. Theme it!

A bottle with rice is fabulous. However, sometimes I would theme the shaker according to my child’s interest, just for fun. For example, my third daughter loved (and still loves) everything sparkly and shiny, so I made up a special shaker for her with beads from a broken necklace & heaps of sequins and topped it with a cute lid. She loved it.

Other ideas:

  • Sand & Shells — add a few sea animal figurines
  • Dirt & Rocks — add a few plastic dinosaur figurines
  • Twigs & Seeds – for nature inspired
  • Rice & Confetti — for colourful party fun
  • Beads & Glitter

I filled this one with beads and sequins and topped with a Lady Bird Lid.

Make a music shaker - lady bird lid

5. Play!

Put on music and play! Or make up your own song.


Pin these ideas for another day here.

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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