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Make and shake a tambourine

Toddler Playsongs made tambourines today.

We used paper plates, pasta, buttons, and necklace chains.

Here's how.

What you need

  • Two paper plates for the body

  • String

  • Your choice of rattlers, eg buttons, holey pasta, necklace chains, wooden beads...

  • Tools for cutting, piercing and fixing: scissors, pencil, tape, glue, clothes pegs

  • Decorative paper

  • Optional: dried rice to sandwich between the plates for extra sound

Needless to say.... make sure everything is baby/toddler safe! Use strong string, child-safe glue, watch out with the scissors and sharp pencil and tie/fix everything securely.

Plate 1 decoration: make your plate special by cutting out and gluing on a circle of decorative paper.

Plate 1 holes: pierce 5-6 pairs of holes in the plate rim at opposite sides.

String: cut 5-6 bits of string at least three times as long as the plate width.

Rattlers: thread your chosen rattlers onto the strings. (If you're making this with your toddler, you might want to prepare this fiddly bit on your own. We found using cut up necklace chains or beaded necklaces were the easiest thing to use for fast results).

Plate 1 back: tie and tape your strings securely on the underside of plate 1

Plate 2: glue the second paper plate over the back of the first and peg it until secure - particularly if you put some optional dried rice in the space between the plates! Sign your tambourine.

Take it away, Tam!

Play your tambourine on its own or with a rhyme or song. Here's a version of Wind the bobbin up:

Shake your tambourine,

Shake your tambourine,

Shake, shake, shake shake shake!

Shake to the window, Shake to the door, Shake to the ceiling, Shake to the floor. Shake them all together now

One - two - three!

Put it gently on your knee.


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