First I want to say a huge thank you to Pardon My Poppet for letting me talk about doing crafts with my own poppets! I’m usually talking about cooking and crafts for grown ups so this was a treat!
Like many kids one of my son’s favorite things is music. He loves music class at his preschool program and making his own music with the little hand instruments we have at home. I thought it would be a fun activity for him to actually make an instrument then of course it would be fun for him to play what he made! I decided we could make shaker drums like the ones he has played at school. It’s a super easy craft that can be made with things you probably already have at home.
To make the drums (or just drum if you only want to make one :-) ) you will need empty cans with lids. I used an empty coffee can and toddler cookie can. We made 2 drums so that we could hear 2 different sounds- and also so mom could decorate one and Ethan, my son could decorate one. You will also need construction paper to wrap the cans, scissors to cut the construction paper, crayons, stickers, and any other embellishments to decorate the drums, a glue stick to glue construction paper to the drums, and any items you want to place inside the drums for sound. We used dry pasta and old buttons, but you can use dry rice or anything to try different sounds.
Tip: Let your child color on the construction paper BEFORE cutting the paper to wrap the cans. Here is where I goofed as you will see in later photos.
Once your child has made their masterpiece on the construction paper, lay the can on the paper and mark with a pen or pencil (or crayon if that’s what’s handy!) the size of the can so you will know where to cut. Be sure and allow just a bit of room at the top of the can for the lid to still be able to go on the can/drum without ripping your paper. Once you have marked the can’s measurements, cut the construction paper to size. If you use smaller sheets of construction paper, you may have to use 2 sheets or 2 pieces from the same sheet to go all the way around the can. Then take the glue sticks and give your paper a good coating. Make sure there is enough so that the flat paper will stick to the round can. Wrap the construction paper around the can and smooth out all the bubbles and make sure the paper is firmly stuck to the can. You can also let the kiddos help smooth out the paper and mash it to the can. We chanted “Press! Press” as we did.
Did I mention I goofed up in the coloring bit of this project? Well, if you go by my instructions and not what I did ( do as I say and not as I do haha!), your child’s drum will be colored by now but if you look above I wrapped the drums in the construction paper before he colored is. And the photo below shows that it was awkward for his little hands to color with the paper on the drum. Normally he loves to color but he was done pretty quickly with this craft!
After you’ve wrapped the colored paper on the cans, now is the time to put your stickers and embellishments on the drums. Help them cut out some paper hearts or stars to put on the drum! Get creative! After you’ve finished decorating the drum, let them add the pasta, buttons, rice or whatever sensory object you’ve chosen for the drum’s sound. This is a great activity if they are able to do it for themselves to help with their fine motor skills.
Little hands putting the pasta in the drum…
As you can see, my measurements for the construction paper were not exact on the cans. One piece almost went all the way around and to be honest, I didn’t cut a smaller piece to fill in the gap. The activity is about having fun and crafting with the kiddos and not being perfect. He was ready to do his part and I let him at it! He had so much fun counting the buttons and the pasta and calling out the colors of the buttons.
Once the drum is filled you can add a dab of glue to a few points to the inside of the lids to make sure little hands don’t open the drums and put the contents in their mouths or you can supervise while they play and put the drums where they can’t reach by mistake. Once the lids are secure it’s time to have fun!
Shake, shake, shake! He had a great time playing the drums and comparing the louder sounds of the buttons made to the quieter rustle of the dry pasta. He also had a blast putting the stickers on and putting the contents in the drum and will continue to enjoy them as he makes his own music with them which is great developmental and creative play.
Here is the final craft projects. I decorated one and Ethan decorated one. I will let you decide whose is whose. You can add maracas or tambourines for a full band. This is a super easy craft with minimal supplies that lets you make music and memories with your poppet!