Preschoolers will have fun making and shaking these Canada Day nature shakers at a parade or holiday party on the 1st of July!
The days leading up to Canada Day are always the last of the daycare season for us, as we break for July and August.
Because Canada Day falls on the first of July, we generally spend our last week of daycare making plenty of festive Canada Day Crafts.
The other day, we made these easy and awesome twirling ribbons for the kids to wave at the Canada Day parade, and today, we’re making nature shakers.
Now, I wasn’t exactly sure what to call these Y-shaped stick instruments at first.
I was thinking “jingly sticks” but that didn’t really sound right, so I asked some fellow bloggers, and they came up with a bunch of titles: nature rattles, nature instruments, sistrums and percussion sticks, to name a few.
As a group, we weren’t really sure if an official name exists for these homemade instrument, so I’ve decided to just go with “nature shakers”.
Our shakers were super-easy to make and the hooligans really enjoyed the process. They’re fun to shake, and they look so lovely and patriotic.
You can also make these shakers as a 4th of July craft or as a festive craft for any country’s national holiday. Just change up the colours to match the colours of your country’s flag.
Ok! Let’s get to work!
To make our Canada Day Nature Shakers, you’ll need:
- Y-shaped twigs (1 per shaker)
- red and white paint (we used acrylic craft paint)
- red and/or white yarn
- red and white buttons and beads
- white seashells (with holes in them)
- embroidery needle (optional)
To find our sticks, we went on a little hike through the forest in our neighbourhood. We gathered a bunch of sticks that were Y-shaped. Back home, I used garden shears to trim away any bumps or nodules.
Then we painted our sticks. We painted some sticks all red, and some all white but I especially love the sticks that we alternated the colours on. They look especially Canadian to me.
When our sticks were dry, we tied a length of yarn to the top of one of the branches of the Y.
Then we threaded on a bunch of beads, shells and buttons.
You can use an embroidery needle to thread your beads and buttons onto the yarn, but we didn’t have a needle fine enough to fit through the button holes so we just threaded them by hand.
Once we had threaded enough to make a nice jingly noise, we tied the other end of the yarn to the other branch of the Y.
Make sure your knots are secure, and give it a shake!
What a fun, little instrument to shake and rattle at a Canada Day parade or a backyard holiday party!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.