I set up two ‘nibble dishes’ with a range of small items that could be placed inside plastic eggs. Many of these would make a noise, but some wouldn’t; I wanted my niece to explore which objects made a sound and which were quiet or made no sound at all inside the eggs. I also wanted her to explore different textures and sights along the way, so one dish used very natural tones and largely natural objects.
Some of the items we used:
- Craft feathers
- A range of nuts in their shells (not suitable for all children due to potential allergic reaction.)
- Green coloured rice
- Dry wholemeal pasta
- Small copper ‘jingle bells’
- Pom poms
- Shredded ‘gold foil’
- Tissue paper
Making Egg Shakers
I put the plastic eggs into some egg boxes (we have chickens, so we always have A LOT of them spare,) which was too inviting for my niece to refuse, so she got stuck in and started scooping the rice up with the measuring cups I’d left out for her. At first, she wasn’t too interested in closing the eggs and shaking them… we hadn’t tried an activity like this before and I don’t think it had occurred to her yet… she was having too much fun feeling the different textures and using his jumbo tweezers to pick up different items up.
Once all of the eggs in the egg boxes were full, there was nothing left for her to do but try to close the lids… then she hit two of them together in a beat and said ‘Dance, Aunty!’ (She’s two, she’s allowed to be a little bossy haha!) She picked up different eggs to try them; my niece was starting to think about sound and noticed that different eggs made different sounds.
She held the egg close to her ear and said ‘shhh, listen,’ before shaking it wildly! (Tip: make sure the lids are on properly!) Before long, the eggs were being filled with different combinations of items and my niece spent almost an hour at the table, playing with the different ‘fillings’ and shaking them inside the eggs. We talked about loud and quiet; here is a great way of teaching a toddler some basic musical vocabulary.
This would make a great activity at Easter, although it’s suitable for all year round! I hope you have fun with this one – we really enjoyed it!