Are your kids starting to show interest in music? Good for them, but dial down your enthusiasm a notch, will you? As much as you want them to be the next musical geniuses, it’s best to keep learning fun and engaging to them. One way to do that is to use Maracas for kids.
Yes, maracas/rumba shakers/shac-shac are real percussion instruments. They make fun toys to entertain babies and toddlers with but they are, no doubt, great musical instrument for kids.
Maracas for Kids
Maracas are commonly used in Spanish, Latin and Caribbean music. In the past, maracas were known as rattles of divination. They’re made from dried, mature gourds of Lagenaria plants.
These days, the maracas you’ll find are mostly made of wood or plastic. For children, the maracas are smaller in size and brightly colored. When you buy your kids some maracas, it’s a good idea to get an assortment of colors so your kids and switch and combine them.
Also make sure that they are lightweight. Your kids may be so hyped playing with them and bang their own heads. That’s what kids do.
Plastic or wood?
Well, either is fine, really. What matters is the quality. If the plastic or wood is sturdy and doesn’t break easily, you have a winner. The paint used to color the maracas is also important. Make sure the paint is lead and BPA-free to protect your kids when they decide to chew their musical instruments.
How to Play
0-3 months: At this age, you’ll be the one who plays the maracas to sing nursery rhymes to your baby. Play the maracas facing the baby and be sure to smile and vary your facial expressions.
3-6 months: Same as above but let your baby grip a maraca or two to play along with you. Imitate your babies actions and dance a little.
6-12 months: Give your kids the opportunity to experiment with the maracas. They love banging the maracas to different objects. Refrain from saying too many NOs and DON’Ts.
12-18 months: As your kids become more mobile and have better motor responses, dancing and singing become fun routines. Shake the maracas by their ears, nose, eyes, head, shoulders, tummy, knees, and feet so your kids can learn about body parts.
18 months – 2 years: Imitation games and follow the leader games are appropriate for children at this stage. Keep a clear music routine using nursery rhymes as your kids already familiar with the beginning, middle, and end.
Make Your Own Maracas
No one ever says that you must buy maracas. Making your own maracas is easy. Your kids can do it with “a little help” from you.
You can make maracas with balloons, bottles, plastic eggs, plastic cups, or even toilet paper rolls. They will serve as the containers for the beads, corns, seeds, rice, or beans. You can check Pinterest for the details, but we can assure you none of them are hard to make at all.
Maracas can be loud!
OK, we feel this warning is in order here.
Before you buy or make maracas, make sure you can handle the noise. Can you keep your smile and sanity when your kids play with them for hours on end? If the answer is yes, knock yourself out and get some for your kids. If your answer is no, then you may want to get another kind of musical instruments that are a bit less loud.