Make some music with these colorful maracas crafted from recycled toilet paper rolls! This project is a great sensory activity for young children.


  • toilet paper rolls
  • duct tape
  • paint and paint brushes
  • rice
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • scissors


    1. maracas-longCover the end of one toilet paper roll with duct tape.

    2. Fill the toilet paper roll halfway with rice. We poured some rice in a bowl and scooped the toilet paper roll inside. This part of the craft is a great sensory activity for little hands.

    3. After you have rice inside your roll, cover the other end of the roll with duct tape.

    4. Once your maraca is sealed, make a sleeve for it from another toilet paper roll so you can paint it. Slit another roll all the way down one side and wrap it around the rice-filled maraca.

    5. Glue the outer roll around the maraca. Then paint the maraca sleeve any way you wish! We started with a solid base color and then painted on a design or pattern.

    Once your maracas are dry, make some music!

Caroline Gravino Urdaneta, a PBS Parents resident crafter, is a designer of creative family projects, tinkering painter and mother of four children. She writes about project ideas for the whole family and how to encourage creativity in kids on the popular blog, Salsa Pie and shares videos on the PBS Parents YouTube Channel. Subscribe HERE.

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  • jc

    Our daughter in first grade was referred by her pediatrician to a developmental optometrist. She is struggling in school with basic skills. She was diagnosed with visual discrimination, visual closure, horizontal and vertical tracking, and visual motor and precision learning disabilities. The developmental optometrist and her pediatrician recommend intervention with vision therapy and screening for auditory processing disabilities. The school district, however, says that she is not eligible for an IEP or 504 Plan because it is district policy that she needs to show that she is at least 2 years behind grade level and her overall percentile rank is above 50% because she scored very high in two areas and skilled in some areas that averaged out to 52%. They dismiss the fact that she has only been in school for one and a half years. The developmental optometrist and her pediatrician tell us that there are legal complications for them to represent her and state her case with the school district since they work with the district, but we have permission to use their written referrals and correspondences. I thought a disability is a disability. How can formulas, quotas, and standardized guidelines used by a school district overrule a diagnosis and determination whether or not a child with special needs is eligible for help? We have been told that our district fights qualifying children for Special Education because of the cost.