Fun with Egg Shakers

Babies love toys that shake. You have probably seen your children’s librarian or teacher use egg shakers in music or story times. Did you know they are included for more than fun and that the whole family can benefit from using them? Here are some ideas to try that will help kids of every age learn new skills make music!

For Babies and Toddlers

Music and shakers can help babies and toddlers learn in a variety of different ways! They learn to move their bodies in more rhythmic and controlled ways by moving to the beat. Songs help grow vocabulary. As your child plays with an instrument, they are practicing critical thinking and problem solving to try to see how it works. Rhythm instruments, like a shaker, can help introduce the idea of syllables. 

Try some of these activities with your child: 

  • Dance with your baby or toddler! Try slow songs and fast songs. Try holding your baby as you dance, or move their arms and legs while they are on the floor. Which do they like best? 
  • Try a song-based game! An easy one is Freeze. Play or sing a song and when the music stops, everyone stops!
  • Find a story time at Chicago Public Library for your baby or toddler.
  • Sing a clean-up song at the end of play time. You can replace the claps in this song with “shake shake” as you use the egg shakers.

For Preschoolers

As your child turns 3, they begin to be more aware of others around them. Music is a wonderful tool for channeling this awareness. It can help facilitate group cooperation and work on social skills. For example, when kids play “Ring Around the Rosie” they need to sing together, move together and do the same actions together along with the song.

This is also a great stage to continue building on language and early literacy skills. Use the shaker to shake on the rhythms of the words in a song to continue practicing syllables.

Try some of these activities with your child:

  • Move like different animals. Play some music featuring animals for inspiration!
  • Practice focused listening. Ask your child to listen to the sounds and tell you which ones they like best.
  • Find a story time at Chicago Public Library for your preschooler.
  • Try some fun new shaker songs from our friends at Jbrary, like this one:

For Older Kids and the Whole Family

Older kids and adults can get the same benefits from music and shakers! Music is powerful at any age. Using shakers and music promotes cooperation,  relationship building, motor development and a variety of language skills. Plus it's great for your mental health! Did you know music can help regulate emotions? It can also reduce anxiety and depression and improve your focus.

Get the whole family involved in play with music and shakers:

  • What other things do you have in your house that can be used as instruments to play along with your child’s egg shaker? Play a rhythm on your instrument and encourage your child to copy it with their shaker.
  • Have a music parade! Find instruments or have everyone march and shake along to the beat.
  • Find a story time at Chicago Public Library--you might be surprised at how much fun these events can be for older kids or your whole family!