Can you believe that it’s almost July? That means that it’s time to get crafting for the 4th of July and these paper plate shakers are just what the kiddos need!
We love making our own patriotic crafts. It’s so much nicer to have homemade accessories for the day, rather than store bought ones. This patriotic preschool music shaker is one of our favorite 4th of July kid crafts!
Preschool Music Shakers for the 4th of July
Music….it’s good for the soul! and the brain as well as overall development! Music soothes, connects, heals, and is one of the things that sets humanity apart from other species. Music can break down cultural barriers and connect people, in spite of differences.
Many years ago, I traveled to a small, remote Indonesian island. I happened upon a non-touristy beach and there were some local children there. I was a bit of an anomaly and they seemed fascinated by me.
A few of the children were playing some bongo-type drums. I had just been walking along listening to my walk man. Clearly, I am now dating myself.
I took my headphones off to greet them. None of them spoke English, and I did not speak their local language.
A boy who looked to be about ten years old walked up and offered me his drum! He was smiling wide. I smiled wide back at him and used both my hands to play a beat on his drum.
Then, he took a turn, and we went back and forth like that. It was a very special moment in time.
I offered my headphones for him to listen to (no one on this island owned anything like this!) and his smile got even wider!!! He was dancing around, listening to my music and I was playing away on his drum. The other kids came near us and started drumming with me.
Then, I offered to pass my walk man around for them all to try. This was YEARS ago, and I still remember the JOY on their faces (and mine!). Our lives were worlds apart, yet MUSIC connected us that day on that remote beach.
Music is powerful. Music is connection. In all its forms, music is an integral part of early childhood education!
FAQ About Teaching 4th of July to Preschoolers
Simply put, the Fourth of July is the United States’s birthday. We celebrate becoming a free nation on July 4th. But a 4th of July celebration may not look like other birthday parties preschooler have attended.
Here are some common 4th of July traditions preschoolers might be familiar with:
~ backyard barbecues
~ wearing red, white and blue
~ pie baking contests
~ waving mini flags
Like all thematic lesson plans for preschoolers, Independence Day lesson plans should include a balance of math and literacy activities, crafts and sensory activities.
Try this 4th of July craft that is a music shaker, and this stars and stripes 4th of July sensory bin. Or, make this famous playdough recipe in red, white and blue and set up a playdough invitation to play.
There are so many fun ways to celebrate the 4th of July with kids, even preschoolers and toddlers. This flag mosaic is beautiful and can be a team art project. Make some pastel star art to hang up for a party, or make some safe fireworks in a jar.
We love making musical instruments as part of our music play activities. I mean, we have all the Melissa and Doug band in a box sets, but it’s so fun to make our own music crafts. These preschool July 4th crafts are tried and true. You can add these American flag shakers to your music activities this Independence Day!
We have made similar versions of this paper plate shaker craft many times. The materials needed are inexpensive and they’re quick and easy to make. Perfect for a last minute activity or to add to any of your thematic planning. We especially love them for New Year’s Eve – any time you have a celebration works well!
Since it’s almost the 4th of July, we thought it would be appropriate to make one with a USA flag on it. This is a wonderful addition to all of your 4th of July preschool craft ideas!
4th of July Music Shaker Craft
As usual, I tried to keep this activity as ‘kid made’ as possible (as you can tell from the uneven lines and the crooked stars!) because that’s the aim of any of our crafts. While it’s easy to step in and do things for them, we want them to do as much as they can themselves.
- Paper Plates
- Red Paper
- Blue Paper
- White Stars – we cut our own out but you could always use white star stickers if you prefer
- Pasta (we used Penne but any larger pasta works well – try to avoid macaroni as it falls out easily)
How to make a 4th of July Music Shaker
With just a few basic steps, you will have these diy music shakers ready to roll for those picnics and fireworks celebrations! It’s an easy craft that your kids will love! And, a kid friendly art project to show their pride in the red, white and blue!
You will need to start by cutting out some stars (if you’re not using stickers) and having your child cut some strips of red paper (assist them if needed). Cut out a rectangle shape from the blue paper, as shown in the picture below.
Fold the paper plate in half.
Glue the blue rectangle to the top right of the plate.
Glue on the stars.
Have your child glue on the red strips of paper. It’s fine if they go over the edge of the plate as you can cut them off afterwards.
Staple around the edge of the plate, leaving a small gap so that you can fill it with pasta.
Fill the plate with pasta and staple up the open gap.
Enjoy your shaker!
Tips for Making 4th of July Shakers
- Assist with cutting the red paper strips, as needed
- For very young kids, consider cutting out all the pieces ahead of time. They will work essential skills by gluing the pieces on
- In lieu of cutting out stars, I recommend using stickers, pre-cut stars, or stampers (can use white paint with a star stamp)
- Have a demo so kids understand the end goal, but remind them that they will all look a little different and that is part of art projects
- Remember that it’s about the process and not a perfect final product- celebrate how each child’s shaker is unique to them!
- Use larger pasta like penne, ziti, or rotini, as small noodles can potentially find their way out of the shaker
- Be sure an adult does the stapling (but can allow older kiddos to safely”help”, if desired)
- Try to staple evenly and fairly close to the edge, for best results
Benefits of Music in Early Childhood
Music doesn’t JUST help us connect and it isn’t JUST fun…although, those are two great benefits of music, of course!
Music and movement often go hand in hand and have SO many benefits in the early years of learning and brain development:
- Music and movement help develop fine motor and gross motor skills
- Music and movement help with development of balance and coordination skills
- Music can help develop language and vocabulary skills
- Music and movement can help us to manage and understand our emotions
- Music and movement are forms of self-expression, which can help develop positive self-concept
- Music and movement can connect people (including child/caregiver/teacher) and can help with relationship-building and bonding
- Research has shown that music impacts brain development through an “increased growth of neural activity”
- Music has been shown to have a positive impact on spatial intelligence and math skills
Have fun making your July 4th music shaker – I’m sure it will be a fun addition to all your patriotic 4th of July crafts for kids! From paper plate shakers to egg shakers, we just LOVE homemade shaker activities for kids!
Oh, and do I need to mention that these would be fantastic for a parade?!? Who doesn’t want a parade of children with music shakers marching through the house or preschool? Personally, I love the idea! Have a safe and musical Fourth of July!
I’m Carol, an Australian Teacher and the Mum of 2 toddlers who have LOTS of energy. I spend my days finding simple and fun activities to keep them both busy and love sharing our crafts and activities with you. I believe that toddler activities don’t have to be expensive, and that simple activities can provide great learning opportunities for young minds.