Bongo, Shaker, Güiro All in One

Now, if you know me well, you know I’m not crazy about toys.  I’m not saying that I dislike all toys, but the more modern toys that you most often see lining the shelves of big name toy stores? They’re not my favourite. The flashing, blinking, noise making, spinning, beeping, moving, battery operated plastic contraptions of today just seem like such an assault on the senses to me.  That, and I guess I just don’t feel like they inspire creative, open-ended imaginative play.   

Toys I do love are the more classic ones…  The things we grew up with as kids and the things I love filling the shelves of my Kindergarten classes with…  Building blocks, felt puppets, wooden puzzles, dress-up clothes, and art supplies.  Besides those, I don’t think a child can ever have a library of books too vast or a collection of instruments too large. 

On the topic of musical instruments, I’ve bumped into this gorgeous blog several times before, but only had time to properly sift through the posts late last night {from midnight to one a.m. while I should have been sleeping, of course}.  The author has beautifully presented ideas that are simple, eco-friendly, and often music-based.  Before calling it a night, I pinned several of her ideas on my Toddler Activities board, one of which was this idea for making a balloon bongo, rice shaker, and güiro all in one.

Already having everything on hand, Gracen and I whipped up a couple this morning.

IMG 8150Here’s our collection of supplies… A couple of tin cans from the recycling bin, thick elastic bands, balloons, some wool, a pair of scissors, chopsticks, and a couple of little bowls filled with pantry goodies (Grae chose red lentils and sushi rice).

IMG 8155First of all, make sure your tins cans have been opened with can opener that leaves the edges smooth rather than sharp.  Then, put your lentils/rice/beans/couscous/pasta inside.

IMG 8156You can fill your cans as much as you like, but we filled ours about 1/6 of the way.

IMG 8158Next, snip the ends off of your balloons.

IMG 8159Then stretch the balloons over the tops of your cans. Be sure to make them tight.

IMG 8161Although the balloons stay on quite nicely on their own, secure them with a thick elastic just to be sure. No one wants a lentil explosion all over their floor.

IMG 8162If desired, cover the elastics with some wool, baker’s twine, jute, or embroidery floss.

IMG 8168Now make some music!  You can shake them…

IMG 8170Pat them…

IMG 8174Or tap them. The chop sticks can also be used to rub along the ridged sides of the can, producing a ratchet-like sound.

Happy music making!

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2 thoughts on “Bongo, Shaker, Güiro All in One

  1. Carrie says:

    Awesome! both of my boy would already have taken the whole thing apart to examine it and make a mess… but they are boys LOL

    • jkossowan says:

      Haha! I hadn’t even thought of that, Carrie. When we were making it, I just told her the balloon stays on, and that was that. It’s so interesting to see the differences between personalities.

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