Tag Archives: green kids crafts

Make Your Own New Year’s Eve Noise-Makers!

big-bottle-shaker-recycled-rattleMany new parents – or tired parents – opt to stay home on New Year’s Eve and ring in the New Year with the kids! Even if you won’t stay up until midnight – you definitely need some fun noise-makers to mark the coming of a new year!

Here is a new New Year’s Eve project – big bottle shakers – as well as a list of favorite noise-making crafts from the past few years. Monkey drums and vuvuzelas, anyone?

Oh yes, and a very happy new year to all!

Big Bottle Shakers For New Year’s Eve!

sticker-shekere-pictureKids like to make lots of noise and these big rattles are perfect for safe and easy noise-makers. Start with a large recycled bottle (with a lid or cap) that’s clean and dry. Gallon milk jug containers and liter soft drink bottles work well for this craft.

Step One is to fill with whatever you have on hand. For louder rattles, add items like extra jingle bells, buttons, pebbles, dried macaroni or paper clips. For quieter rattles, add things like birdseed, sand, salt or sugar. Before you close the cap and seal the rattle, consider adding a bit of bling. Maybe some glitter that you have on-hand or some MYO confetti? (BTW, Our next post is MYO confetti – it’s messy but super simple!).

Step Two. Once you’ve filled your bottle with things that jingle and jangle, close the lid and seal with a sturdy tape, such as colorful electrical tape. This keeps the contents inside and makes the project more child safe.

screen-shot-2016-03-28-at-3-09-55-pmLastly; if you like, you can decorate the outside. You can add stickers, colorful tape or draw with permanent markers. You can also adorn the handle with streams of ribbon or yarn. This is a great way to recycle extra holiday wrapping and put it to a good use!

What else can you make? Check out these favorite posts from New Year’s Eves past.

New Year’s Eve Noise-Makers With Wrapping Paper Rolls http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/noisemakers-new-years-eve-craft/

bolang-gu-craft-versionBolang Gu – A Chinese Monkey Drum Craft https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Make Your Own Vuvuzela Stadium Horn https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Vuvuzela-Make-Play-Your-Own-South-African-Stadium-Horn-1242716

kyra-plays-a-vuvuEverything But The Kitchen Sink Rattles  http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/new-years-eve-noisemakers-recycled-rattles/


Best Instruments For Quiet Time With A Child!

playing rainstick in the grassMost people associate making music with expressing yourself, having fun and making noise!  Although its great fun to sing, dance and play an instrument, there are also many world traditions that use music to quiet the soul, to learn to listen and to encourage rest, sleep or meditation.  Quiet time instruments or music are perfect for sharing with your children around naptime, bedtime or for a break during a busy  day.

The Rainstick

Originally, rainsticks were made from a special cactus whose long “arms” dried and fell to the ground. They were filled with seeds, beads or pebbles and as these tiny objects fell from one side of the cactus to the other, the sound that emerged was like a gentle rain or a quietly trickling stream. The sound of a rainstick (known in South America as palo de lluvia) is so peaceful and relaxing that it is often heard in meditation tapes or used as part of music therapy.

How do you play a rainstick?  You turn it up-side-down or hold it at an angle so that the contents can flow from one end to the other.  Notice the difference in sound when you hold it vertically or at an angle.  You can also “shimmy” the rainstick gently as it flows or hold it horizontally and shake it like a rattle.

How can you use the rainstick as a quiet time instrument?  “Play” the rainstick along with relaxing music until you feel like resting or try some of these games.

          A class or group of children listen to rainstick while a teacher turns it over.  When the last pebble falls, the first child with their hand up gets to be the new leader or wins that round.

          Try the above game with the children’s eyes closed.

          Try this game with young children at naptime in a preschool setting.  After each child has a chance to play the rainstick, they lie down to rest.  The teacher picks each student by seeing which one is waiting most quietly and giving them the first turns until everyone is ready to rest.

Use your own ideas and make up your own games or rainstick activities.  Don’t have a rainstick?  You can win one from DARIA’s world music for kids website or make your own version from simple, recycled materials, by checking out the links below.

The Ocean Drum

The sound of the surf can be so soothing.  And playing an ocean drum, can help you bring the quiet sound of ocean waves right into your classroom or home, creating a relaxing space to rest or refocus your energies.

What is an ocean drum?  It’s a two-sided drum with clear material stretched over a round frame.  Inside the drum are small round objects such as bee-bees or pebbles.  As the drum is tilted back and forth, the tiny objects move across the head of the drum creating a sound remarkably like ocean waves gently breaking on a beach.

By holding the drum at different angles, the player can control how the waves move – quickly and enthusiastically or softly and quietly.  Along with the repetitive sound, the look of the small objects moving back and forth can create a relaxing experience that is remarkably comforting for any child but one that is especially appreciated by children on the autistic spectrum.

Don’t have an ocean drum?  You can make your own version from a shipping box.  Find the simple instructions at the link below.

bronze singing bowl 2Singing Bowl and Tingsha

In the near future, we’ll do a detailed article on using these additional two instruments for relaxation and quiet time with small children.  In the meantime, you can to find more general information and a “Make Your Own Tingsha” post at the links below.



Make Your Own Rainstick


Make Your Own Ocean Drum


The Singing Bowl


Make Your Own Tinghsa


Make a Roly Poly Musical Thing!

There are so many great ways of enjoying musical play with a young child.  It’s a fun learning experience for kids of any age or ability and also a great destresser for mom, dad or caregiver.

Here’s a project that’s easy to make and provides an opportunity to take time out of a busy day to play and have fun with a little one that you love.

What’s A Roly Poly Musical Thing?

Anything you want it to be!  Start with any cylindrical container like these and gather a few supplies to decorate and fill them. Here’s a basic supply list.

roly poly suppliesSupplies

 Any recycled container that can roll.

Material to decorate: stickers, markers, colorful tape, etc.

Objects to fill: dried beans, rice, birdseed, jingle bells,

beads, buttons, macaroni, jingle bells, Q-tips, sand, salt, pebbles.

If your object is transparent – You may wish to add decorative objects that won’t change the sound but will add visual interest such as glitter, colorful puffballs or confetti.

Sturdy tape (such as electrical or duct tape) to seal the project.

Make Your Roly Poly Thing!

First clean and dry the container you’ll be using.  Then decide how you’ll decorate. You can do this as a coloring project, add stickers or apply colorful tape.

Since you’ll be playing with this homemade toy by rolling it, remember that it can be fun to create designs that will be interesting when they are rolled back and forth, like changes in color, various stripes, patterns or wiggly lines or different stickers that might appear like different “faces” of the roly poly thing.

If your object is transparent, consider what you might put inside to make interesting patterns when the object is rolled.

Next, add the items that will create sound as your object rolls.  Larger objects like dried pasta or large buttons make louder noises.  Smaller items like sand or seed beads make a quiet “whooshing” sound.

Once you are pleased with the look and sound of your project, you can seal it up.  Use a sturdy tape such as electric or duct tape and you’ll be ready to play.

roly on the tableTime To Play!

There are lots of fun ways to play with a roly poly thing.  Here are some of our favorite ways:

Roll between two hands on the floor

Roll between two hands on a tabletop or at a desk

Roll back and forth between two players on the floor

Roll back and forth in time to music

Roll back and forth in time to slow quiet music

Roll back and forth in time to fast-paced, up-tempo music

Roll back and forth while singing or counting

Roll back and forth, rolling when music plays, stopping when music stops.

rolling roly polyMake up your own games and your own rules.

Be creative and have fun!


Looking for songs to “roll” along to?

Play Along With Any OF DARIA’s Songs on her Youtube Channel