DIY Musical Instruments for Toddlers: Water Bottle Shakers as Percussion

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Today I’m going to share with you these DIY musical instruments I made to entertain my baby girl.  They’re so much cheaper to make than store-bought maracas, and I love that you can repurpose water bottles.  Repurposed or upcycled materials are free to use, and it’s good for our planet in the long run! 

My daughter LOVES music.

She loves to sway and head-bob awkwardly as well as dance march in place dramatically anytime a song comes on that she enjoys.  Thanks to my dear husband, her current favorite song is “Bye Bye Bye” by N-SYNC.  She requests it pretty much nonstop all day, and it has become her bedtime lullaby song.  No joke.

She also loves making sounds, especially when she can control the sounds.

DIY Musical Instrument Tutorial

I just wanted to share really quickly how I made these maraca bottles for her because it’s so easy.

I used empty mini (8 oz) water bottles and filled each one with either popcorn kernels, dried rotini, or coffee flavored granola from the pantry.  (Just make sure the top is screwed on tightly so as to not be a choking hazard for younger kids!)  You can add whatever you have in the pantry or around the house.  For instance, you can add rice or nuts or even household things like beads.

The bottles all make different, loud sounds when shaken.  I’m convinced my daughter likes to shake them to the beat of songs, but I’m probably reading too far into that.  Either way, she loves to play with them and explore how shaking each one makes a certain sound.


And that’s all I have today!  Just wanted to share this quick and fun way to make DIY shakers, one of the many homemade musical instruments around our house.  (And along the way, I up some coffee flavored granola that sounds way better than it actually tasted!)

Check out some of our other toddler activity ideas!  And if you love repurposing as well, we have a whole section dedicated to repurposing and upcycling crafts.