I've decided to expand this blog to include some personal posts.  Not every post will focus on ecothriftiness, but I'll try to keep any new info I learn circulating through this blog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

That's Music to My Ears!

Jack and I attended a Mom's group today in our new city!  During the group, there was a demonstration from a Kindermusik instructor.  It jogged my memory a bit, and I wanted to share a forgotten project from before this blog was started. 

Musical Instruments are sooooo easy to make with items from around the house.  Several of the "instruments" and other toys used by Kindermusik (and Mother Goose through Helen Ross McNabb) are fancy and expensive when you attempt to purchase them through the group.  When we attended Mother Goose, Jack loved the egg shakers and rain sticks.

After Easter, I was about to throw his cheap plastic Easter eggs in the recycle bin.  I realized, however, that those 2-part eggs are perfect for making egg shakers.  I filled one with rice, another with a couple of egg noodles, another with loose tea, another with ground coffee.  I superglued the top to the bottom and let them dry.  Viola!  Not only did Jack have shakers the perfect size for his hand, each had a different sound.  This brand of plastic eggs had 2 very small holes on the bottom.  This was a bonus as they didn't let out any of the contents, but allowed him to experience the smell of the tea and coffee as he played with them.

These shakers were a great hit!  When he got tired of them, I recycled them.  My friends' infants loved to play with the shakers when they came to visit.

Another great way to make a shaker is to reuse the Gerber graduates fruit puff containers.  Once two were empty, I filled one with rice and another with pennies.  The plastic containers are already shaped with a curve that is perfect for a toddler grip.  I glued and/or duct taped the tops on, and, Viola again!

Of course, you would always want to supervise your infants and toddlers with these shakers.  After all, they are made from cheap "disposable" eggs and food cartons.  There is no guarantee that your kid won't break into either if he or she is very determined.  I don't recommend using pennies for this reason, but dry rice and tea probably wouldn't be such an issue.

We also reused a Folgers coffee plastic container as a drum.  Jack often has trouble playing his store-bought bongos because he finds it difficult to hold one and bang on it at once.  The sound is far less satisfying if the open bongo bottom is placed on the floor or couch.  However, the Folgers container had a big handle and a large opening.  The big handle helped him hold onto it while he drummed, and the large opening made a deep sound!

I found a whole article about reusing Folgers plastic coffee containers through the Associated Press.  Click here for the whole article!

I also found a website with tons of ideas for homemade musical instruments built with reused materials!  Click here!

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