Monday, June 28, 2010

Little Toddlers Guest Post: Fun with 4th of July Shakers!

I asked few of my friends to try out some 4th of July activities with their littler toddlers this week (ages 12 to 18 months) since readers sometimes ask about fun things they can be doing with their littler ones. Hope you enjoy these simple ideas that can be great for fostering language development and creativity!

4th of July Shaker

Materials Needed: toilet paper roll, rice, waxed paper, Scotch tape, star stickers, ribbon, colored tape, and scissors


1. Cut two small squares of waxed paper to cover the ends of the toilet paper roll

2. Use Scotch tape to fix one waxed paper square to one end of the toilet paper roll

3. Fill toilet paper roll with 3 Tbsp rice

4. Use Scotch tape to fix the remaining waxed paper square to the other end of the toilet paper roll

5. Cut ribbon to desired length

6. Tape ribbon pieces individually to end(s) of toilet paper roll so the ribbon hangs off the end

7. Wrap one colored tape around toilet paper roll making sure the ribbon and waxed paper are
attached underneath

8. Use next color of tape to make a stripe beneath the first. Repeat with all colors, rotating if desired.

9. Decorate with stickers and start shaking!!

My daughter loved the shaker but as any 1 year old would do, the shaker went straight into her mouth and she ripped the waxed paper. We had rice all over the floor. Next time, I would use a heavier material (cardboard, paper plate) to cover the ends and make them more secure. The original instructions also called for bells to be placed inside the roll. Many different items could be used to make different sounds.

My daughter and I held the shaker in various ways to see if different sounds would come out. I told her about the colors and materials used as we put everything together. We waved the ribbons back and forth like a flag. I also used the ribbons to tickle her face to see what her reaction was and we talked about her laughs and smiles.

This activity was adapted from Family Fun's Liberty Shakers and could be easily done with older kids as well. Making paper plate shakers and shaking them along with patriotic music can also be a great way to introduce rhythm and have fun exploring new music together. Although little ones can't do many of the assembling steps for this shaker, having them manipulate the materials, stick the stickers on, and then move and play with the shaker are all great activities than can foster conversations and lead to language development. Thanks Kath for sharing how this activity went with your little one!

Kathren is a mom of an active and adventurous one-year-old. She is expecting a new little one in early December. She juggles her week working full-time as a financial analyst and mom and spends her weekend filling the days with as many fun activities as possible to spend time with her daughter and family. She loves baking, running, gardening and playing with her daughter. Kathren blogs about their family's adventures at You're Gonna Miss This.


  1. I like how you have your friends actually try out these activities. It helps to keep activities geared toward the right ages - well done!

  2. Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!


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