Maracas are just the thing you need to get into the Cinco de Mayo spirit. Everyone loves to shake maracas along to festive Mexican music. I show you how to make your own maracas out of water bottles in this Cinco de Mayo craft.
Fun Facts about Maracas and Cinco de Mayo History:
- Traditional maracas aka shakers are a Latin American percussion instrument made from hollowed out gourds or coconut shells filled with seeds or dried beans and put on a wooden handle.
- Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico and is celebrated on May 5.
- Cinco de Mayo is often confused with Mexican Independence Day (September 16). Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Mexican victory over the French at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The victory was an important step for Mexico’s fight for independence.
- Cinco de Mayo ends with the traditional shouts of ¡Viva Mexico! and people looking forward to the next National Holiday: El 16 de Septiembre Día de la Independencia de Mexico.” (September 16, Mexican Independence Day)
Younger kids will need adult assistance with this craft. Recently, I helped my son and his first grade glass make maracas. The kids were able to use funnels to fill the bottles with rice and beans all by themselves. I had to help them use the duck tape and toilet paper roll to make a secure handle. Then, they got to decorate them with colorful paints. The kids really enjoyed these making maracas. And what they loved even more? Shaking their maracas to see whose could be the loudest!
Click here for downloadable direction: How to make Maracas
What You’ll Need:
- Empty water bottle with lid (tip: make sure it’s dry inside)
- Dried Beans or Rice
- Duck Tape (tip: colorful duck tape makes the maracas look festive)
- Empty cardboard toilet tissue roll
- Optional: Colorful acrylic paints and paintbrushes
- Use a funnel to fill the empty water bottle with dried rice and/or beans about halfway to three-quarters of the way full. An all-rice bottle will make a very different sound when you shake it than an all-beans bottle. Have fun experimenting to find the sound you want.
- Tightly close the water bottle with the lid.
- Use scissors to cut a straight line down the length of a cardboard toilet tissue roll. Make a handle out of the cardboard roll by attaching it to your bottle like this: Start at the lid of the water bottle and tightly wrap the cardboard roll around it. Mine went around about one and a half times. It all depends on the size of your bottle’s opening. There’s no wrong way to do it, just be sure to wrap the cardboard tightly so it creates a sturdy handle.
- Keep a good hold on the roll handle while you secure it with duck tape around it. Be sure to start taping above where the cardboard roll meets the water bottle so that it will stay attached. Wrap duck tape all the way down the cardboard roll. When you reach the end of the handle, cut it off.
- Use another piece (about 2 inches long) of duck tape to cover the hole at the bottom of the handle. I just squeezed our roll shut at the bottom and stuck a piece of tape from one side to the other.
That’s really all there is to it. Your homemade maraca is ready to play at a Cinco de Mayo party!
If you want, you can decorate your maraca with colorful paint, stickers, sticky foam or whatever you can imagine.
Let me know if you have any questions about how to make this Cinco de Mayo craft. See this and other fun craft ideas when you follow me on Pinterest.
Another fun Cinco de Mayo craft idea is to make a pinata out of a balloon. Click here —> DIY Pinata Tutorial.