Music Toys – Homemade Homeschool

One of the “subejects” we do durring our school time is music.  Mostly I use this time for two things – I play songs related to (or directly from) the bible verse we are studying that week and also to give Inara a chance to get up and move around and let some energy out.  We ususally have about three short songs so about 5 minutes or so total of music time per school day.

Going into this I knew that I wanted something she could play with durring this time that we could progress to talking about rythems, sounds, pitch, etc as she learns more of music later.  So, I started looking for some basic things I remembered from our talk at our first MOPS meeting LAST year, as well as just some in expensive (not too noisy) music items.  I was thinking something along the lines of egg shakers/marakas, wrist bells, a kid sized tamborine etc.  This is what I found:


Basically these items tended to come in large (classroom sized?) sets and were way out of the price range I was willing to spend ($30 bucks for 12 bell braclets!!) also, most of the bell things didn’t have velcro to open and close as a braclet – they were just a solid circle of webbing and I knew I wanted somthing with velcro.

I’ve since found individual eggs, wrist bell braclet things, and maracas all in the $1 to $2 price range (still a bit more than I found resonable to be honest).

So – this is what I came up with instead:

4 egg shakers with 2 differant sounds

4 swrist bell braclets - 2 child and 2 adult sized


Want to make your own – how tos are after the jump:


Lets start with the eggs, because I’m guessing you (like me) probably have everything you need on hand;




As many plastic easter eggs as you want to make into shakers – I chose 4 that way my daughter and I would each have two – one for each hand haha.

Stuff to put in them to make noise – I went with rice and dried beans (I’m pretty sure these are pinto) because thats what I had in the pantry

Super glue (a gel glue would work better, but I only had the liquid)

Optional but recomended and not pictured.  If your easter eggs have holes in the tops/bottoms like mine did, I’d recomend glueing a small square of paper over them on the inside to cover the holes if you’re using rice.  I didn’t think about this, and now the rice shakes out the holes infrequently because it’s just the right size to do that.  Optionally, skip the rice or only use eggs without holes. 🙂

Open all the eggs and set out the bottoms, this is the part you're going to put the noise makers into.



fill the bottom of your eggs about 3/4 of the way with whatever you're putting in them. I made two useing rice and two using beans.

Like I said, I had rice and beans (incidently my daughters favorite foods) on hand, you could also use dried lentles, small beads, bells, small pebbles, paper clips whatever you’ve got laying around – seriously.

Use a SMALL amount of super glue around the inner edge of the top of your egg and then close the egg.


All done


I would let these sit undisterbed somewhere for about a day just to let the superglue fully cure before you go shaking and moving these all around – just to be on the safe side.


So – total money spent for this $0!  If you needed to buy supplies, you can get eggs at easter time for around a dollar a dozen (or less on clerance after) super glue runs about $3 a tube, and rice and beans (or whatever filler) are a doller or so for a one pound bag which I would imagine would fill enough to entertain a small village. lol


Onto the wrist bells:



SUPPLIES: (sorry, prices on these are a bit fuzzy, because most of it I had on hand, and what I did buy I can’t find the reciept for anymore to give you exact costs)

Nylon belting or (in my case because it’s what I had) Super Jumbo Ric Rac.  I had the ric rac on hand and thought it would look a bit cuter (plus since I already had it – it was free!) but you could use regular nylon webbing/belting or the ric rac both sold by the yard at joann’s (and other fabric stores for a couple bucks ($2 or $3 I think if I remember right) a yard.  I used 8 inches each for the kid sized braclets and 10 inches each for the adult sized braclets so all together I used 1 yard total to make all 4 of mine.

Jinggle Bells can be purchased at any craft store, mine came from Michael’s and I got 14 (ish) for about $2 or $3.

Sticky Back Velcro – again can be bought by the yard at fabric stores, or in packages at Walmart – a yard is also in the $2 to $3 price range – to make 4 braclets I used 3 inches.

Lighter trust me

HOT MELT hot glue

Scissors (I used pinking sheers (the zig zag cut scissors) because it’s what I found first that day – regular ol scissors are perfectly fine!)

So the only thing I had to buy specifically for this project was the bells, the rest I eitehr already had or was buying for other thigns as well.  However if you had to buy everything – including the lighter (except the scissors and the hot glue – if you don’t have hot melt the world won’t end use what you’ve got) you’d spend about $6 or so to make approximatly 4 braclets putting them at under $2 each – which is the cheepest I’ve found them!

start by cutting your lengthes of webbing to the desired length, then use a lighter to carefully melt the ends and fuse the fibers together to prevent unraveling. This will only work if you have webbing that isn't 100% cotton so be sure to get nylon or polyester!


the carefully fused ends


for the larger peices cut 2 inches of sticky back velcro for each bracelt


then cut these in half vertically


use 1 inch pieces for the smaller braclets also cut in half lengthwise


you should end up with something like this for two large and two small braclets


remove the backing from one half of the velcro


and stick it to the end of your strap


remove the backing from the second half of the velcro set


and carefully set it ontop of the first peice of velcro so that they are velcoed together. This will ensure they line up correctly later.


fold your strap over so it makes a circle the correct way to be worn as a braclet and stick the second end of it to the velcro peices so that you have a velcro sandwhich stuck to both ends of your strap


better picture of the velcro sandwhich press FIRMLY to make sure the sticky part sticks.


when you take it apart it should like this this - you'd have to flip it over in the middle in order to see both parts of the velcro on the ends.


try it on


put a small dob of hot melt hot glue on the braclet where you want the bells to go (in the middle of the "top" typcially speeking)


press the bell FIRMLY into the hot glue - don't burn yourself repeate for all bells


one finished braclet


for the adult version, I used the two inch strip of velcro - cut in half to make two 1 inch pecies. If you're using regular belting for your strips this wouldn't be necisarry, but the 2 inch cuts didn't fit right onto the ric rac,


4 swrist bell braclets - 2 child and 2 adult sized all done. Make as many as you want in differant colors, differant sizes, with multipul sized bells on each for differant tones whatever you want.


Please keep in mind that the hot glue is not a perminant fix – Inara has already pulled the bells off one braclet.  However it’s really easy to put them back on.  Just keep an eye on little ones with these because the bells could be choking hazzards if not used with supervision.  Again – If you make some I’d love to see them in action!



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