Home made shakers and musical bottles


Children are naturally curious and will enjoy exploring the different sounds they can make.

A lot of research has been done on the benefits of music for young brains, babies and toddlers who are exposed to music, perform better in areas such as language development, speech, listening and reading skills.

Making musical shakers is a fun and easy way to occupy your babies and toddlers.

Why not use your musical shakers as a sensory discovery bottle as well?


Resources Needed:

  • Recycled plastic bottles or other containers
  • Home items that could produce sound such as -lentils, pasta, rice or dried beans
  • Everyday objects with different colours and textures-such as paper, beads or any craft materials you have at home.
  • Glue or calotype


Sound and sensory exploration


  1. Fill up the empty bottles with any household items of your choice, that could potentially make sound.
  2. Mix the household items so your shakers could produce different sounds.
  3. Use items of different colours and textures in each bottle.
  4. Make sure the lid is secure, tape or glue it to the bottle.
  5. Use your homemade shakers to accompany you singing your favourite songs.

Key words

Sound -loud or quiet, fast or slow, describe the textures of the materials you are using such as soft, rough, hard, scratchy. Describe the colours of the materials you are using.

EYFS learning outcomes

Communication and Language

  • Moves whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.
  • Has a strong exploratory impulse.
  • Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods.
    Starts to understand contextual clues, e.g. familiar gestures, words and sounds.
  • Communicates needs and feelings in a variety of ways including crying, gurgling, babbling and squealing.
  • Makes own sounds in response when talked to by familiar adults.
  • Practises and gradually develops speech sounds (babbling) to communicate with adults; says sounds like ‘baba, nono, gogo’.

Physical Devolvement

  • Turns head in response to sounds and sights.
  • Reaches out for, touches and begins to hold objects.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Enjoys the company of others and seeks contact with others from birth.
  • Gazes at faces and copies facial movements. e.g. sticking out tongue, opening mouth and widening eyes.
  • Responds when talked to, for example, moves arms and legs, changes facial expression, moves body and makes mouth movements.
  • Recognises and is most responsive to main carer’s voice: face brightens, activity increases when familiar carer appears.
  • Responds to what carer is paying attention to, e.g. following their gaze.
  • Laughs and gurgles, e.g. shows pleasure at being tickled and other physical interactions.
  • Uses voice, gesture, eye contact and facial expression to make contact with people and keep their attention.