MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape

Students create a musical shaker using a variety of materials to create a range of sounds.

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 1


Art Techniques
Language Arts
Visual Arts


beat colour high-pitch low-pitch mood rhythm shaker shape soft texture


Crayola Paint Brushes Tissue Paper Mini Pom Poms Decorative Items Crayola Tempera Paint Streamers Recycled Yogurt Drink Containers Recycled Baby Food Jars Recycled Water Bottles Various Dried Grains Musical Instruments if available Sea Sponges if available Texture Stamps if available White Glue

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MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step One

Step One

Collect a variety of recycled containers such as baby food jars, yogurt drink containers and water bottles so that every student will have one container.

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Two

Step Two

Gather enough materials to put into the containers to be able to make a variety of sounds. Rice, kidney beans, salt, lentils, screws, rocks and buttons are all great for this activity.

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Three

Step Three

Have each student choose a container and material to put into their container. Get them to test the sound their container makes once the material is inside. They can add more or remove some to see how this affects the sound. Once they are satisfied they should replace the top of the container and make sure it is on tight.

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Four

Step Four

Have students cut up squares of tissue paper, squirt some Crayola Project Glue into a container, and get a paint brush.    

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Five

Step Five

Paint the container with glue and place a piece of the square tissue paper on top of the glue. Paint glue on top of the tissue paper too. Cover the whole container with 3 layers of tissue paper.

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Six

Step Six

Allow the container to dry overnight.

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Seven

Step Seven

Set out a variety of paint colours and materials for students to paint with. Sea sponges, texture stamps, and a variety of paint brushes are all fun materials for students to use to create different textures, patterns and shapes.

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Eight

Step Eight

Encourage students to try different effects as they paint the container. Allow it to dry for 1-2 hours.

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Nine

Step Nine

Decorate the musical shaker using a variety of materials.  

MUSICAL SHAKER – Colour, Texture, and Shape - Step Ten

Step Ten

Allow the shaker to dry overnight. Invite children to use their shakers to create different rhythms and beats.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Work independently and self-regulate;
  2. Create personal responses to the activity materials;
  3. Share their ideas with peers;
  4. Demonstarte a sense of accomplishment; and
  5. Use the elements and principles of design to create a musical shaker.


  1. Take children on nature walks and have them listen to the sounds surrounding them. 
  2. Ask students to reflect on the sounds, for example,
    What sounds do you hear in the park? 
    - What sounds do you hear walking along the sidewalk outside the school?
    - What is making the sounds? 
    - How could you create the sounds? 
    - Are the sounds soft or loud? 
    - How do the sounds make you feel? 
    - What sounds do you like? Why?

    - What sounds don't you like? Why?


  1. Gather all the art materials needed for the activity.
  2. Gather a variety of types of music.
  3. Gather some musical instruments including shakers.
  4. Prepare a variety of container shakers by placing different materials in them, for example, a Yop bottle with rice in it, and a sour cream container with pebbles in it.


  1. Gather the class together and listen to a variety of types of music.  
  2. Discuss the instruments, beats, rhythms and sounds they hear.
  3. Put out a variety of instruments. 
  4. Allow the students to hold the instruments, shake them and listen to the noises and sounds they create. 
  5. Ask the students questions about the instruments, for example,
    What instrument is your favorite? Why?
    - What instrument makes a sound you do not like? Why?
    - What instrument makes a high-pitched sound?
    - What instrument makes a low-pitched sound?
  6. Show the students your containers and shake them one at a time. 
  7. Listen to the sounds created. 
  8. Invite students to guess what is in the containers. 
  9. Compare 2 sounds.  
  10. Talk about what other materials you could use to create different sounds.


The Challenge

  1. Use imagination and creativity to make a musical shaker. 


The Process

  1. ​Explain to students that they are going to create a musical shaker.
  2. Guide their thinking.
    - Think about what sounds you like. Are they loud sounds or soft sounds?
    - What could you put into a container to create the sound you like?
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan, demonstrating as you go.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Have each child share their musical shaker. 
  2. Ask students questions about the shaker they created.
    Why did you choose rice to put in your shaker?
    - What sound does your shaker make? Is it loud or soft?
    - Why did you decorate your shaker the way you did?