One of the workshops from this month was for some of the youngest artists -- four to seven year olds. Using mostly recyclable materials and a few store bought art supplies the students learned about multicultural percussion instruments as they made rain sticks, egg shakers, maracas, and rattle drums.
The Chinese rattle drums were mostly made from bought materials. Round paper mache boxes were acquired from the local art supply store, along with wooden beads and wooden clothes pins. Other materials were glue, string, construction and tissue paper (in China's imperial colors), and glitter. I pre-made the holes in the boxes using a x-acto blade and a sharp clay tool. I also used hot glue to glue the boxes shut once the beads were strung. The clothes pins were also hot glued to make sure they would not come loose. These rattle drums really do work just like the real ones!
The rain sticks were made in the way most art teachers employ.... paper towel rolls. These are the perfect size. They were painted and stuffed with crumpled newspaper on the ends. Dried beans were placed in side to get the appropriate sound. The ends were capped with felt scraps attached with elastics and adorned with feathers. With more time, the paper towel rolls can be decorated further, incorporating dot painting or other techniques.
The maracas were made from small water bottles, beads, and gift fill. Simply fill the bottles with the other materials, put on the caps and shake. Other, more involved methods could be used, but for the workshop this simple project acted as filler while the paint and glue on the other projects dried.
The last filler project was egg shakers. So simple, I am not even going to post a separate picture of them (you can see them in some of the pictures above). You simply put a few teaspoons of rice into plastic eggs. Close them and seal the seam with colorful duct tape.