How To Make Maracas With Kids

    by Elizabeth Stover

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Stover, an 18 year veteran teacher and author, has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Maryland with a minor in sociology/writing. Stover earned a masters degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas, Arlington and continues to work on a masters in Educational Leadership from University of North Texas. Stover was published by Creative Teaching Press with the books "Science Tub Topics" and "Math Tub Topics."


    Got rhythm? You can make maracas with kids for some brand new music makers. Though similar instruments exist all over the world, traditional maracas, made of dried gourds, originally came from Puerto Rico. The shaking of dried seeds inside the gourd creates the sound. Whether you're crafting with your child indoors on a rainy afternoon or entertaining a large group of kiddos, these maracas will help to keep any young music-lover engaged and ready to start shaking.

    Things You'll Need

    • Yogurt cups with lids
    • Craft sticks
    • Rice, popcorn kernels, dried beans or seeds
    • Electrical tape
    • Contact paper
    • Foam or regular stickers
    • Helium-quality balloons
    • Papier mache paste (flour and water)
    • 12-inch strips of newspaper
    • Child-safe paint
    • Paintbrush
    • Toilet paper rolls
    • Masking tape
    • Water bottle
    • Tissue paper
    • Craft glue

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    Yogurt Cup Maracas

    Wash and dry the container. Cut a small slit in the lid, just large enough to squeeze in a craft stick. Use electrical or masking tape to secure the stick on both sides of the lid.

    Place 2 tablespoons of rice, popcorn kernels or other small noisemakers inside the container. Put the lid on the container and seal it shut with the tape.

    Cover the container and stick with brightly colored contact paper. Attach foam or regular stickers to the maraca for decoration.

    Balloon Maracas

    Put 2 tablespoons of rice, popcorn kernels or beans into the balloon. Blow up the balloon and tie it closed.

    Cut 4 slits in one end of a toilet paper roll, each 2 inches long. Attach the fanned-out roll to the balloon with masking tape.

    Mix equal parts flour and water to create papier-mache paste. Dip 12-inch-long newspaper strips in the paste, then layer them over the balloon. Cover the entire balloon and toilet paper roll in criss-crossed strips of newspaper, at least two strips thick. Allow the balloon to dry overnight.

    Paint the maraca with child-safe paint.

    Water Bottle Maracas

    Place 2 tablespoons of noisemakers, such as beans or rice into an empty, completely dry water bottle. Replace the lid tightly.

    Cut brightly colored tissue paper into strips. Dip a paintbrush in white craft glue and attach the tissue paper by laying it on the bottle, then painting over it with the glue. Cover the sides and bottom of the water bottle, to within 2 inches of the lid, with tissue paper. Turn the bottle upside down and place the neck in a narrow glass or other container to dry.

    Use colored masking or electrical tape to wrap around the bottle's neck, from the tissue paper to the lid, to make a handle for your maraca.

    • When working with very young children, seal the small items safely inside with plenty of tape.


    • I Can Make Music: Simple-to-Make and Fun-to-Play Musical Instruments for Young Children; Michael Purton


    • Making Musical Instruments with Kids: 67 Easy Projects for Adults Working with Children; Bart Hopkin