A maraca is a percussion instrument that's usually made from a hollow gourd filled with dried seeds or pebbles. When it's shaken, it makes a rattling sound. While you may not have dried gourds with which to work, there are many items that can be reused to make maracas. Using postconsumer solid waste to make the instrument will help save natural resources and landfill space.
Cover your work area with newspapers. Wash and dry four dessert cups. Using paint markers, decorate the outsides, following along with the shapes on the containers, or make up your own design. Now take apart old necklaces or bracelets, and fill two containers with some of the beads.
Reuse ribbon from gift packages to make streamers. Have an adult use a hot glue gun to fasten the ribbon on the rim of the filled cup, and glue on another container for the top. Repeat for the other maraca. Now turn on the radio or pop in a tape or CD and make some music!.
Tips and Tricks:
Substitute other postconsumer solid waste such as empty yogurt containers, pill bottles, film canisters, and plastic soda bottles for the dessert containers. Instead of using beads from old jewelry, substitute dried rice, beans, pasta, or fill the maracas with small pebbles or seashells.
If you wish, cover the filled containers with a few layers of papier-mache, and paint with acrylics when dry. Varnish for a more durable finish. Learn more about percussion instruments at Percussion for Kids (from Stomp).
� 2008 Marilyn J. Brackney (updated 2018)
Volume 16 No. 3
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