kinder-minions!

With Easter fast-approaching I thought it was about time I shared these little guys!

minion-themed shakers made from kinder eggs

Making novelty shakers is a fun way to make use of the plastic yolks from ‘Kinder Surprise’ eggs if you are lucky enough to have access to them.

Egg-sized shakers are a great percussion instrument/toy for children – the shape and size is perfect for little hands, and they can be used for rolling around, keeping a steady beat, making sound effects…

To make these minion-themed shakers:

  1. Clean off the plastic yolk and fill with dried rice, beans, beads, sand… you can have fun trying out all sorts of different fillings to compare the different sounds. Note that if you are making shakers with ‘normal’ plastic eggs you may well need to block any small holes in the plastic.
  2. Close the egg securely. Kinder Eggs are good for this activity as they are hard to open. If you are using other plastic eggs you will need to tape securely around the join. Either way, you may well need to remind your child not to try to open them or squeeze them too hard. It goes without saying (but I’m still saying it) that you should use your best judgement as to whether this activity is suitable for your child.
  3. Wrap blue painter’s tape around the egg with the top edge of the tape positioned just above the join. Make small cuts along the bottom edge of the tape and fold the tape under the egg.
  4. Cut thin strips of tape to make the straps for your minion’s overalls, and draw pockets, gloves or whatever details you like onto the tape.
  5. Choose one or two googly eyes and position them however you like. Note that PVA glue will not hold the eyes on firmly. If your children can’t wait to finish their minion, just take a note of where they want the eyes and super-glue them on later. Alternatively you could use round white stickers or a little white-out fluid for this stage.
  6. Complete your minion’s face and head with a mouth, strap for goggles, hair, eyelashes… just whatever details look fun.

minion-themed shaker toysAs you’ll see from these pictures – we definitely made these minions ourselves! I do not have a gift for crafts and my kids are all young, so you can see that this is a pretty straightforward activity.

E insisted her minion should be a girl; setting aside my thoughts about whether girls necessarily need to wear dresses and have blue eyeshadow I’m amused by her ‘glamour-minion’!

These particular minions like to shake about and sing along with various minion-style songs – a great way to join in with pretty much any song without knowing the ‘real’ words – bonus!

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Musical Uses for Halloween Candy

November 1st = an extra hour in bed and a house full of candy here in Calgary. 🙂

If your little spooks haven’t already devoured their Halloween stash, here are some candy-themed musical activities to try…

Music Notation

Candy Compositions using Rockets Draw an extra-large sheet of manuscript paper and use Rockets, M&Ms or any small candies to make musical notes.

For beginners you can simply practice placing notes on lines and spaces. You can also compose your own short pieces or play a dictation game with one person singing a melodic pattern for the other to arrange on the staff.

Feel free to grab my printable from the bottom of this post to try this at home.

Hand position (for piano)

RockPractising piano curved hand position using Rocket candiesets are a great shape for little hands to get used to the feeling of playing with the tips of fingers rather than the pads. Play around with tapping on the candies and pushing them around to try and get those fingers muscles working – you could try and select different colour candies for different finger numbers.

Making Patterns

Using any candies you could challenge your kids to continue sequences and complete patterns. Depending on the ages of your kids you can vary thCompleting a mathematical sequence using candy barse complexity of the patterns and the position of the missing candies. If they are finding it too easy you can introduce mistakes
for them to fix (your choice whether they are allowed to eat the mistakes!)

This is such a useful activity for early maths skills, too.

Percussion!

I fondly remember the days when my daughter used to call Smarties ‘shakins’, because we cruelly let her believe that they were percussion toys rather than sweets. Smarties, Nerds, Milk Duds… anything that will rattle or roll around in a box can be used to shake along to the beat of the Monster Mash… Even any crisps/chips that got squashed at the bottom of the candy stash can join the rhythm section!

And if you got a can of pop along the way – there’s your drum right there. Make use of those lollies as beaters.

And for the non-candy Halloween treats…

…tune in tomorrow! In the meantime, here’s my candy-ready manuscript paper – I hope you’ll find it useful. candycompositions