Maracas for a Crowd!

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January 16, 2016 by morningcamequickly

Here is an economical way to make maracas for all your fantastic first graders! When I first made these, I probably had over 200 first graders in my music classes and wanted to do something special with them beyond the normal music class.

You probably have everything on hand in your kitchen right now. You will need one paper plate and baggie (zip or tuck) per student. Then gather a stapler, crayons, a tablespoon to measure with, and rice, beans, or both.

gather your supplies

When you are setting up in your classroom, make a place for yourself at a small table or chair so students can come back to you when they are ready to fill their maraca. Keep the bags, stapler, rice, beans, and tablespoon with you.

Ready to put them together? It’s easy. Give each student a paper plate and have them fold it in half. Then, let them decorate away. If they keep it folded in half, they can draw a picture on both halves or if they open it and draw one big picture or design, it will still look great. I always let my students draw whatever they want. Some choose music and others pick out something else special to them. It’s a great conversation piece as they fill up their baggie later.

Play some favorite songs quietly in the background while they are working and you will find the students singing along and having a fun time. As they finish coloring they can come over to your area. Let them choose what they want to fill with. You only need 2 tablespoons total in the bag. If you do more, it just won’t shake as well.

Zip the baggie closed and get ready to staple. If you used tuck under bags, be sure to tuck it and staple it before closing the plate. Or else you will have one vigorous shake and a mess (yes, I did this before). Loosely fold the bag and place on one half of the plate.

Now, fold the plate in half and staple around the open edges 5-6 times, so the baggie won’t slip out.

There you have it! A smiling first grader walking away and shaking their own personal maraca!

This is a lot of fun. I usually have students sit together on the floor as they finish. This lets them look at each other’s and shake away. I’ve used the “Maracas” song from Music K8. We also just use them to shake rhythms, echo shake rhythms, or just play in their own, personal way along with a song.



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