Tuesday, March 10, 2015

ridiculously easy project: DIY musical shaker eggs.

Just wanted to share a super-easy project I did last week! It was inspired by some online shopping, actually. A friend of ours sent us a belated wedding gift awhile back, and I couldn't be more pleased that we didn't get it until after Rowan was born: a generous gift card to West Music, a fabulous company with high-quality music products. This would've been a dream come true for me when I was a toddler teacher...so it's totally a dream come true now, since it means I get to assemble the perfect music kit for my girl. 

I combed their website for literally hours, adding hundreds and hundreds of dollars' worth of awesome stuff to my cart before eventually whittling it down to the gift card amount. One item that was originally in my cart? These classic egg shakers:

See them here.

They're a staple in the best early childhood classrooms and music programs, so, naturally, I waaaanted them. But I had to make some hard shopping choices, which meant anything I thought that I (or someone else close to me) could potentially DIY had to go. Good-bye, shaker eggs - along with some movement scarves, bell shakers, and bean bags. Don't get me wrong, my homemade shaker eggs aren't anywhere even close to the quality of the ones offered through West Music...but they were cheap, easy to make, custom-designed, and toddler-approved!

My sidekick and I took a quick trip to the grocery store to get everything we needed...which consisted of plastic Easter eggs and inexpensive rice. That's it. (We already had the duct tape and scissors.)

This project was so easy that the hardest part was choosing which eggs to buy. I started out with some glittery ones, but I wasn't sure how well the tape would stick to them, so I went with some ladybugs, some Spidermen (Rowan is obsessed with J.J.'s Spiderman pajama pants and even makes a web-shooting sound effect: "Fwhip! Fwhip!"), and some springtime creatures.

I needed to occupy the aforementioned esteemed egg recipient while I made the eggs, so I set her up in a plastic bin of bubbly water with some toys to bathe. Kept her busy well past the twenty minutes it took to make the eggs!

Get ready for the extremely-complicated directions I'm about to share with you:

1. Open plastic egg.

2. Put some rice in egg.

3. Tape egg shut.

Seriously, the part that took the longest was cutting the duct tape into thin strips with my crappy scissors. Oh, and craftier folks would probably use prettier tape, but I had duct tape on hand, soooo that's what I used.

The tape is actually really important, and for a couple reasons. First, if you don't tape the eggs shut, your little snowflake will open them within the first seven seconds, and rice will be everywhere. Ain't nobody got time for that. (Although it's still a possibility, so make sure you use a non-toxic filler like rice or dry beans.) Second, plastic Easter eggs actually pose a choking risk for little kids. I don't know about these eggs, since they all open along the vertical edge of the egg, but the ones that open along a horizontal edge split into two pieces that can easily lodge in a child's throat. Not exactly your goal with this project.

Couldn't get a good picture of Rowan with her new shaker eggs, since she was shaking them so vigorously (and made me turn on T-Swift's "Shake It Off" - or, as Rowan calls it, "MM-MMM, MM-MMM!!!"), but she loves them:

Hoping to be back tomorrow (pending a crucial Amazon Prime delivery) to share another easy project - not for kids this time. Here's a hint of what's to come...

(Oh, and I'll share what we DID end up getting with our West Music gift card when that package arrives...can't wait!)

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