May 22, 2013

Exploring Percussion with Baby and a Musical Sensory Shaker Bottle

Welcome to the "Music Fun for Your Little One" series brought to you by House of Burke and And Next Comes L, where we will be featuring a variety of activities perfect for introducing music to young children.

Today, I introduced the mother load of instruments into Kingston's repertoire, percussion instruments! Percussion instruments are so much fun for infants. They are the best type of rattle! 

This morning, I pulled out Kingston's blue music box and immediately he started flapping his hands and saying "uh, uh, uh". He basically yelled at me until I put it on the floor.

K was excited to get his hands on the box. I had planned on pulling an instrument out one by one to introduce to him, but Kingston wanted to be in charge. It was really fun to watch how excited he was. He reached in and made his first choice.

The first instrument he pulled out was the maracas! There were two maracas in there, so I took out the other one and demonstrated how to use it. Kingston shook it back and forth, tapped it on the ground, and then tasted it. While he explored, I played a maraca song for him and sang "Shake, Shake, Shake the Maraca!" to the tune of "Ten Little Indians". K thoroughly enjoyed my improv!

When he lost interest in the maraca, he reached in for something different. 

He found the bells and immediately started shaking them. This kid has some rhythm! He has really good coordination from waving, and played a nice little jingle while flicking his wrist. I tried to put the bells on his little arm, but he ripped them right off and went back to playing them the way he originally had been. Silly Mama! 

The next instrument K chose was the clapper. He didn't quite understand what to do with it, so I played it for him. After he heard the wood clacking together, he wanted to try it himself. He used his little fingers to try to clap the wood pieces together. When this didn't work, he settled on chomping on it!

The next instrument he pulled out was by far his favorite: the tambourine!! 

Just like the bells, this instrument needed no demonstration! He shocked me by knowing exactly what to do with it. He shook it and tapped it on his little leg. Adorable! He played with the tambourine for a long time. I I sang "I'm a Little Teapot" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad", while he shook it. 

Finally, he pulled out the finger cymbals. He was so puzzled by them. There was no way that he was going to let me put them on his fingers, so I demonstrated how to play them. They made the funnest tinkling sound and K was mesmerized. He intently watched me play them. When I gave them to him, he tried really hard to hold them in his hands the right way. These finger cymbals take some advance fine motor skills, and my sweet little man was no match for them. Instead, he tapped them on the floor!

We played with all of the instruments for a good part of the morning, along with the piano and drums. Later, while Kingston had some banana in his high chair, I made him one more special percussion "instrument" to explore. 

I wanted to make him a special music themed sensory shaker bottle. For this bottle I used: water beads, silver glitter, silver bells, and musical note pieces. I put a handful of water beads into the bottle first. I could sit and play with water beads all day. They are so much fun! K will have so much fun exploring them when he is older. I had to be extra careful not to drop any on the floor because I didn't want Kingston to get his hands on any. After the first layer of water beads, I added some silver glitter and the first bag of musical notes. I added three bells. Then I repeated these steps. The last thing I did was glue the cap on. The result was not only visually musical, but physically musical as well. The bells made a great sound reverberating off of the water beads!

After Kingston finished eating, I sat him down on the rug to show him the bottle. I pointed out all of the musical notes, and then shook it to let him hear the pretty bell noise. He couldn't wait to get his hands on it!

The water beads made a really fun sloshy/thumping sound when K shook them. He was fascinated with all of the sparkles and spent a bit of time peeking inside of the bottle. Then he tapped it on the rug and flipped it upside down. I told him that there were bells inside and shook his wrist bells to let him listen to the similar sounds. This was one of my favorite sensory bottles yet. I think Kingston loved it to!

Don't forget to join us all week for more "Music Fun for Your Little One" activities! Or check out the other posts in this series: 

Music Themed Sensory Bin (And Next Comes L)
Piano Quiet Book Page (And Next Comes L)
Giant Chalk Keyboard (And Next Comes L)
Musical Hide and Seek (And Next Comes L) 
Homemade Rainbow Xylophone (And Next Comes L)


  1. I just found your blog tonight (though pinterest) and I love some of your ideas. I am very good with my older daughter, but I have a difficult time finding interesting things to do with the younger ages so I worry that I am not dividing my time fairly for my littler one. I like this and the spider web idea a lot.

    1. Thanks Heidi! So glad you found us! The younger they are, the more excited they get over the simplest of things. Start small! I'm sure your little one will enjoy and appreciate anything you do. :)

  2. Thanks for the feature Jamie!! :)

  3. Looks like he had a great time with it! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  4. You always have such fun activities! Can you come to my place and play?! :) Thanks for sharing . . . I'm featuring it at Stress-Free Sunday!

    1. Thanks for featuring us MC! You are more then welcome to come play at the House of Burke any day! :)

  5. Love this - thanks so much for linking up at the Mommy Archive - Alice x

  6. Such a creative and fun idea. My son would have loved this at that age. Pinning!