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Level: Primary, Junior, Middle School
Grades: K - 8 | Age: 5 - 14yrs | Written by:

Learn how to make maracas using oranges, tissue paper and glue.

Musical Instruments that you bang, scrape or shape are called percussion instruments. Some examples of percussion instruments are drums, rainsticks, xylophones and maracas.

Maracas were originally made from the dried shells of gourds with beads or beans inside that rattled around and made lots of shuck-a-shuck-a-shuck-a noises.

You can make maracas using simple materials from around the home. Click here for a simple maraca making lesson plan for younger grades to tackle in an afternoon artmaking session.

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Put a thin coat of petroleum jelly on the orange
  2. Cover the orange with six or so layers of newspaper dipped in the paper mache paste (see directions at the end of the lesson)
  3. For the final coat, put tissue paper dipped in paste over the orange.
  4. Let dry
  5. Once dry, draw a line around the paper covered orange and cut with an x-acto blade. REQUIRES ADULT SUPERVISION
  6. Take the halves apart ( the petroleum jelly will prevent the paper from sticking to the orange) and leave them to dry thoroughly.
  7. Next, in the center of one of the halves, cut a small hole the same diameter as the dowel.
  8. Glue or tape the 2 halves together.
  9. Pour a handful of the peas, coffee beans or popcorn kernels into the small hole that you cut earlier.
  10. Glue the dowel in the hole and tape it to make sure it is secure.
  11. Paint the maraca, let dry and shake... then make another for a pair.

Paper Mache Paste

Recommended Books/Products:

African-Style Maracas Craft Kit (pk/8)

African-Style Maracas Craft Kit (pk/8)

Recreate the rhythmic sounds of the African continent. Fun to mak e and a great musical activity! Includes balloons, wooden dowels, newsprint strips, non-toxic decoupage finish, glue and acrylic paint, plastic beads, brushes and instructions. 10".


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