Cinco de Mayo celebrates an important battle in Mexican history. Although the battle took place across the border, the holiday is widely celebrated in America by people of Mexican heritage. Why not take part in the festivities? These maracas make a racket, and they couldn’t be easier to make…
Rinse out the plastic bottles. Talk to your child about the fact that each of the materials on the table (rocks, pasta, beans, and rice) can be used to fill the maracas. Discuss the qualities of each of the filler materials and ask her to make some predictions about what each material would sound like and what it would do if it filled a bottle (for example, “The rocks are big, so they’d be hard to shake” or “The rice is light so the bottle wouldn’t feel very heavy”).
Allow your child to fill the plastic bottle with the fill material of her choice. Close the bottle, let her shake it, and tell her she can exchange it for something else if she’d like. This is a great time to allow your child to experiment with different fill materials. How is the sound made by rocks in the bottle different than the sound made by rice?
Once your child has settled on the perfect fill materials, place a lid on each bottle and secure with masking tape. Cover the entire bottle with layers of masking tape and give your child the markers so she can decorate them. Strike up the music and shake!
Latrenda Knighten has spent 19 years teaching in a variety of elementary school classrooms, from kindergarten through fifth grade. For nine of those years, she taught kindergarten. She also served as an elementary school math and science specialist. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.