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How To Make Paper Plate Maracas

Cienna is in the shake shake shake phase of life. She’s also in the munching phase, so absolutely everything ends up in her mouth. When she picks up an item, any item, she shakes it first to hear what it sounds like, then it goes directly into her mouth. Then, if it passes the taste test, she turns it over and over in her hands to admire color and texture. Paper items never make it past the taste test. She bites and munches paper so fiercely that big chunks immediately rip off into her mouth.

Anyway… I made these paper plate maracas with the 3-year olds in my Monkey Music class and they LOVED them. The one I brought home for Cienna dissolved pretty quickly, so yeah… this one’s generally best for little ones who are past the teething phase 🙂


Paper Plates – there are small paper plates that I find are better for small hands, but don’t spend any money… just use the ones you have in your cabinet.

Crayons, markers, stickers, etc.


Dried beans – different sized beans produce high or low sounds. You could also use sand, which creates a cool effect (but you’ll have to use more than just staples to hold it all together)

Colorful yarn or ribbon (cut into four or five pieces about 6 inches in length)

Use the markers, stickers, and crayons to decorate the bottom of the plate. Fold the plate in half to create a little taco, and put a staple in the edge of the fold to hold the two sides together while still leaving an opening in the middle. Add beans to the middle of the taco – you can experiment with how many beans you want to add based on the sound you want to achieve. Hang the yarn along the edges and then staple along the curve of the folded plate to seal the edges and keep the yarn in place – if you filled the plate with sand you will probably want to add a layer of tape around the edges.

That’s it! You’re done! Shake shake shake away to your favorite songs… if you want some musical suggestions, I can recommend a few


You can also use plastic plates if you have a teether on your hands. In this case you will have to use large plates so it can fold, stickers or paint to decorate the outside, and heavy duty tape to seal the edges.




Admiring texture and colors…