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A traveling exhibition about the sounds and songs of life

Make Maracas

Make Maracas

This is a great rattle rockin' musical instrument! Shake it, hit it, spin it any way you want to! Maracas are instruments used in South America, North America, and Africa, and are usually made with dried gourds and seeds.

Courtesy of the Sound Crew (a team in the Science Museum of Minnesota's Youth Science Center).

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  • Materials

  • Papier Mache Mixture:
  • • 1 1/4 cup cold water
  • • 1 cup flour
  • • 1/4 cup Elmer's glue
  • Mix well until creamy
  • • Strips of paper
  • • Balloons
  • • Wooden Sticks
  • • Tape
  • • Beads
  • • Paint, glitter, ribbon and other decorations
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  • Instructions

  • 1. Blow up the balloon to about the size of a softball.
  • 2. Dip strips of paper into the mixture, stripping off any excess.
  • 3. Cover the whole balloon with paper strips, but make sure the balloon tie is not covered.
  • 4. Let it dry over night.
  • 5. Pop the balloon and pull it out of the hardened ball.
  • 6. Insert 6 to 12 beads into the ball.
  • 7. Take the wooden stick and push it through the hole.
  • 8. Make sure the stick is secured with tape.
  • 9. Be creative and decorate!
Download a PDF to print below.
maracas.pdf1.21 MB