Inside: We made our own festive jingle bell instruments out of empty water bottles for a fun music activity. Perfect for the holidays!
I have an addiction to water bottles.
Not just any water bottles, mind you, but Voss water bottles. They are the perfect size for little hands to work with, they are much sturdier than regular water bottles, and they can be sealed shut easily with hot glue.
So when I am at any grocery store and see those bottles, I just might do a little dance. (While my husband rolls his eyes and chuckles. He knows!)
And then I might buy 2 or 3 or 10. Hey, water is good for me, right? So I do get to drink the water first.
While planning our Christmas sing-along that includes our families, I thought it would be fun to shake something.
Something with jingle bells.
Something they could make themselves and use during the Christmas sing-along and then take home.
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How to Make Jingle Bell Instruments for a Fun Music Activity
As I mentioned above, I wanted to use my beloved Voss water bottles. So the first thing I had to do was drink lots of water. Easy! It doesn’t matter what size. I actually had some 330 ml and some 500 ml. You decide which size would work for your kiddos. And you can use any empty plastic water bottle. I just happen to love how sturdy the Voss bottles are.
Then, I thought about what the children could put into the bottles.
The 330 ml opening is a bit smaller than the 500 ml, so make sure to take that into consideration when choosing pieces.
The one thing you will need are jingle bells. I used assorted sizes and colors for a nice visual effect, but that’s just my preference. I also added some crinkled cut paper in red, green and gold. I grabbed some pom poms from our stash and some tiny Santa erasers from the dollar section of Target.
Note: Adult supervision is needed during this process, due to the small pieces that can be a choking hazard. This is especially important if you make them with toddlers.
Preparing the Jingle Bell Activity
I found enough shallow containers for each of our children and placed an assortment of the materials inside them. I took the top off the bottle and had everything ready when they came to the art table.
The Invitation to Make Jingle Bell Instruments
We had been singing the classic song Jingle Bells for a few days before we made these instruments. I explained that we would be using our fingers to drop the materials into the bottle so that we could make our own jingle bell instruments.
Very carefully they used their fingers to pinch the pieces and drop them into the bottle, one by one. Great fine motor strengthening!
When our 2 year olds filled their bottles, they promptly turned them upside down and shook everything out.
I should have seen this coming. I mean, I’ve told you all many times how this age LOVES to dump things. Over and over again.
I decided to let them have fun with this process that they love so much.
Fill and dump.
Fill and dump.
Eventually we got all the pieces to stay in the bottle and I put the lids on and let the children shake them to Jingle Bells.
I then had them place all their jingle bell bottles in a basket so we could save them for some more music and movement activities.
Oh, and I also secured the lid with my hot glue gun so that those little hands couldn’t open and dump the materials. Because you know they would.
And that’s all there is to making this fun jingle bell instrument!