I asked my daughter what she would call this project, and she instantly replied “a shakermadoodle.”  My three and six year old daughters had a terrific time making their shakermadoodles, which were inspired by an article I saw in a magazine.  (I think it was Parent and Child magazine.)  They are still adding trinkets to it as I type (singleton Polly Pocket shoes, broken Star Wars toys, and other tiny useless junk that they refuse to throw away.)

You will need a plastic bottle,  enough rice or popcorn to fill it, and any tiny non-precious objects your child can find to put in the bottle.  I saw this as an opportunity to clean out the junk drawer, but we also raided our craft bin for old buttons, ribbon and beads.  Small plastic animals, cars or dinosaurs would be great too, if they fit through the mouth of the bottle and your child doesn’t mind.  Small birthday party favors and beads from broken bracelets can finally find a new home!  


We used a Gatorade bottle from our recycling bin since it had a nice, wide mouth, but you can use any plastic bottle.  Just make sure it’s dry, so the grain doesn’t mold!  Fill the bottle most of the way to the top with rice or popcorn.  Then have your child add the objects they have collected, close the bottle and shake it up.  When they are finished adding things, you can fill the bottle with more rice or popcorn, but don’t fill it to the top or the grain won’t be able to move around freely.  Seal it with duct tape. 


Kids will remember what they put in the bottle and have a great time trying to locate them.  It’s a great toy to throw in the car for a fussy child emergency!  You could even add a few things that remind them of you, if you want to make it a toy to help with separation anxiety.

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