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A Recycled Handmade Musical Instrument called Maraca

Music, as part of early childhood education, can have multi-fold benefits in the learning process of our kids. As such, kids adore music and respond instinctively to the soothing sounds of rhymes, lullabies, songs and beats. Not just these, they also show keen interest for instrumental music, folk songs, rock, jazz, and even hymns and sad songs. Music, really, can cut through the barriers of age, culture, language…

Pari has been learning the keyboard and vocals (Indian Classical) since last 2 years or so. We were fortunate to have found a wonderful music teacher for her who provided the right amount of push, motivation and challenge to bring out the best in her. But, since we moved to a new location, she could not continue due to distance and other factors.It's been a month now that Pari hasn't found her inspiration to do music as enthusiastically as she used to do before. I sit with her at the keyboard and we play and sing together, but, she's really missing her music teacher.

So, till I am able to find another teacher for her, I am trying other ways to encourage music and singing at home. From impromptu song and dance jigs to even having conversation with her in playful rhythms and tone, I'm trying to weave music as naturally as possible – in our daily routine.

Yesterday, she made a handmade percussion instrument called Maraca. 

We're also planning to create a jamming pad complete with a hand-made guitar, drums, tambourine and these tubular cardboard bells.

Maraca, sometimes called Rumba Shakers, is native to Latin America, Carribbean Islands and a few other countries.

To make this, I had her recycle two plastic bottles

She filled them with beans, chick peas, rice, shells, beads etc. – much the same way the traditional maracas were filled. The one fundamental difference being – they were made with dried Bottle Gourds or Coconut shells! Read more about maracas here…

So, Pari filled them with the knick knacks, put the caps on and covered the bottles with Papier Mache (strips of tissue paper pasted with mix of 1 part Fevicol or PVA glue and 1 part water). 

She thoroughly enjoyed all the mess while doing the mache. I just let her be without helping or interfering…!

Once dry, she painted with acrylic colours.

From stamping to letting the paint run down the bottle top to painting with brushes and buds/Q-tips, this girl knows how to play!

I was itching to paint the other bottle! It had been a while since I did any art or craft for my own pleasure. So, I requested her if I could paint the other. I told her she could take photos while I painted! This worked instantly! (winks)

Voila! These could double up as coffee table art displays when we're not shaking them as maracas!

The next day, it was time to shake a leg to the sounds of this Latin American musical instrument!

Oh, I have to ask you – have you yet entered the Mother's Day giveaway that I am currently hosting? If not, hurry up and participate. This is open to you all from around the world. Grab this chance to win these gorgeous necklaces. Last day to enter is May 20. Come on over…

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Esther May 11, 2011, 12:31 pm

    That’s a wonderful piece of art! I love your daughter expressions especially when she is painting it!

  • Jyoti May 11, 2011, 1:17 pm

    Another gem from Mommy labs! Love it..

  • Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree May 11, 2011, 1:26 pm

    These are Great! Wonderful Post! Thanks for the inspiration! We need to make some!

  • Roopa May 12, 2011, 1:41 am

    That’s wonderful Rashmie!! Love the idea of making it so colorful:)) Putti has been playing with bottles filled with stuff but never made it anything elaborate..thanks for sharing!

  • Pritam May 12, 2011, 3:41 am

    Wonderful! Colorful Music…

  • creativejewishmom/sara May 12, 2011, 6:05 am

    Wonderful project! Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday, great to have you!

  • Rachele @Messy Kids May 14, 2011, 7:33 pm

    I like that you used papier mache to cover your shakers. They came out gorgeous! Thank you for sharing on It’s Playtime

  • Rashmie Jaaju May 16, 2011, 10:59 am

    Thank you – Esther, Jyoti, Melissa, Roopa, Pritam, Sara, Rachele for stopping by to share your lovely comments :)

  • Michelle Willow May 20, 2011, 10:17 am

    Oh, we tried paper mache couple months back. Nothing was done since she was all about how yucky it was :( Maybe it’s time to try again. :) You did great girls! :)

  • Chocolate Drool and Kisses May 22, 2011, 6:57 pm

    What a fun idea! Thanks for linking up.

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