Cardboard Tube Shakers

Cardboard Tube Shakers


Looking for a quick activity to complete with your little ones so you can get dinner started? Cardboard Tube Shakers will only take a few minutes to make, leaving you with some time to get dinner started while they are decorating and exploring their new instruments. Extend this activity by creating sound patterns or play some music and have a parade around the kitchen while dinner is cooking.

Materials List

  • A cardboard tube (ex: Paper towel tube, toilet paper tube, or long gift wrap tube)
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • 1 small piece of paper
  • Duct tape
  • Rice, beans, or something similar to fill tube
  • Optional: Funnel and decorations such as stickers, stamps, or ribbons


  1. Trace the bottom of the tube onto the small piece of paper. Fold the paper in half and cut along the line, you will be left with two circles. (1:09)
  2. Cut a 3 inch piece of duct tape and place sticky side up on the table. Place one circle in the center and cut diagonal lines in the tape to the edge of the circle. Repeat this step to make the second stopper. (2:13)
  3. Secure a stopper to one end of the shaker. Place the stopper at the end of the tube, paper side facing in. Pull the diagonal cuts tight to the tube. (3:12)
  4. Wrap a 6 inch piece of duct tape around the whole tube at the stopper to fully secure it. If you have a strong shaker you may add more tape for extra security. (3:40)
  5. Fill the tube at least ¼ of the way full with rice, beans, or other similar material. (4:45)
  6. Attach the 2nd stopper, refer to steps 3 and 4 if needed. (5:20)
  7. Now is your chance to get dinner started while your child decorates the shaker with stickers, markers, or materials if they wish!

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