Shake Your Shekere
A shekere is an African percussion instrument traditionally made of a dried gourd with the pulp and seeds removed and then wrapped in skillful beadwork and netting. During folkloric and sometimes modern musical performances, it is shaken or hit against one’s hands. Using an empty plastic bottle, your child can create a newfangled and loosely interpreted version by stringing colorful beads around the exterior. Beading is a fun way for your child to develop fine motor skills, concentration, and hand-eye coordination.
This project takes several hours to complete with a high level of concentration and demanding hand/finger muscles workout, so it is best to plan on doing it in multiple sessions. In this example, over 900 beads are used in a repetitive pattern, but a simpler alternative requiring fewer beads is also provided below.
What You Need:
- 32 strands of orange beading cord, each approximately 12” long
- Lots of colored beads
- Bowls for each color of beads
- Empty liter bottle with a cap