A Year of Trying to be a Better Mom

Day 5 (5761-7200m): Paper Plate Tambourine April 23, 2010

Filed under: Craft,music,sensory — Erin Brambilla @ 4:06 pm
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Zach adores music. He also likes to shake things. Paper plate tambourines are like the perfect combination of two loves. Kind of like peanut butter and chocolate (yum).

Today’s activity also came with a bonus! More on that later!!

Today’s supplies:


2 sturdy paper plates, glue dots (or staples & stapler if you have that instead), hole punch, ribbon, scissors, dried beans (or pasta or rice..or whatever..buttons even!), stuff to decorate the plates (we used stickers today).

First, I had Zach put stickers on the back of the paper plates. We had an assortment of stars, happy faces and transportation stickers to play with. Festive!

That's a good spot for a sticker

Hmmm...which one do I want?

After he was done stickering to his heart’s content, I put some beans in a measuring cup and had him pour the beans on the plate. This was FUN.

There's something very satisfying about the "sssssspppp" noise the beans make sliding out of the cup and onto the plate

Beans on a plate. And this time I'm not trying to convince him to eat them (though he did do some of that!).

Now is the part where Mommy has to do some work before any music can be made. And there’s not much more activity to keep the 2-year-old occupied. That is BAD news. If I lose his interest here, the project will be lost. But never fear. A BRILLIANT idea has popped into my head. I only used maybe 1/4-1/2 cup of beans, which means there is practically an entire bag still left! Thanks to my recent research in activities for this age group, I now know about Sensory Tubs. Oh, I am now a BIG fan of Sensory Tubs. So, hence today’s “Bonus” activity was born. And let me tell you, Zach LOVED this. All I had to do was get some sort of a big container, put the sensory objects in (the beans) and let him feel away. I also gave him some cups and scoops. This activity was so much fun for him, that after we were done with the instrument making, I was actually able to unload and load the dishwasher, uninterrupted, while he played with the beans again. Good stuff!!

Beans in a bowl. What's more fun than that? They feel cool, and smooth, and round...kind of like rocks.

Now, while Zach played with the beans, I got to work. First I glue dotted around the plate. In hindsight I should have dotted closer together, some beans did spill out when we shook the final product and I had to go back and sneak them in the spaces (much harder than just putting them on the open plate). Staples would also work well to put the plates together, but we didn’t have any. After I put the two plates together, I hole punched around the plate to lace some ribbons through. The ribbons make it look pretty fun.

Glue dots. I'd do twice as many next time.

Hole punched

Pete will be happy to know that I used some leftover ribbons from our wedding!!

Lacing through

All done. It's a masterpiece.

Now, for the next fun part. A rousing rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star accompanied by the Tambourine.

It was difficult to get a decent pic, too much shakin' goin' on

Oh, the difficult to master "over the head shake". I think I have a prodigy on my hands!

What did Zach learn today? Some shape and color lessons, especially with the star stickers (they were solid colors). He also did some sensory exploration.

What did Mommy learn today? That sensory tubs ROCK. And that any song can be tambourine appropriate, just shake away. Also perfect for kitchen dance parties. These were so much fun, I might come up w/ a wrist rattle version for Em & I to join the band. Oh and I should have read a tutorial like THIS one before starting. I would have known to glue closer together right away!


One Response to “Day 5 (5761-7200m): Paper Plate Tambourine”

  1. […] note? Popcorn kernels would be excellent in both a sensory tub and a paper plate tambourine!   Leave a […]

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