Rattles and Shakers

Day 25 of lockdown in Canberra. Are your children driving you crazy yet? NEIN?! No? Well, perhaps it is time to ramp up the noise levels at home!

We have made rattles and shakers at GAP and playgroup before, and the children enjoy them, so here’s how you can make them at home.

You can of course read the instructions yourself and go for it… but if your child is interested, you can let them help you study the pictures and hear you reading the instructions aloud – that way you are teaching the value of reading and speaking… in German, even! 🙂

We have two models to choose from: You can make a paper plate shaker or a classic toilet paper roll rattle. Or both.

Try making more than one rattle, so you can compare sounds with different fillings.

With multiple rattles, you can play games where one person shakes a rhythm and the others repeat it afterwards.

Or try to use your shaker in the rhythm of your favourite song.

Nervensägenvermeidung! (Another excellent hilarious German word that all parents should know: it is a combination of the words Nervensäge (see definition) + vermeidung (prevention). Before you make your rattle, explain to your child that there will be times the rattle can be used, and other times the rattle has to hide away for a rest.


What you’ll need:

  • 1 Pappteller (paper plate)
  • Stifte, Wachsmalstifte oder Farbe und Pinsel zum Bemalen (pencils, crayons or paint and brush to colour your shaker)
  • Heftmaschine mit Heftklammern (stapler and staples)
  • Bohnen, Linsen, Reis oder kleine Nudeln (beans, lentils, rice or small pasta)


Bemale die Unterseite des Papptellers, falte ihn in die Hälfte. (Colour the bottom of your paper plate, then fold it in half.)

Verschließe ihn zu 3/4 mit Heftklammern. (Staple it closed 75% of the way.)

Fülle die Bohnen (oder Linsen, Reis, kleine Nudeln) ein. (Pour in some beans (or lentils, rice or small pasta.))

Verschließe die Rassel mit mehr Heftklammern. (Staple the rest shut.)

Und los geht der Rasselspaß. (You’re ready for some rattling fun!)

Tipp: Je kleiner das Füllmaterial, umso sorgfältiger muss die Rassel verschlossen werden. (Tip: The smaller your filling material, the more carefully you need to staple your rattle closed.)

Wenn Du Reis verwendest, verschließe die Rassel am besten zusätzlich mit Kleber. (If you use rice, we recommend taping or gluing your rattle shut.)

Toilettenpapierrollerassel (what a great German word!!)

For a toilet paper roll shaker you need:

  • 1 Klopapierrolle (toilet paper roll)
  • Stifte, Wachsmalstifte oder Farbe und PInsel zum Bemalen (pencils, crayons or paint and brush to colour your shaker)
  • Bohnen, Linsen, Reis oder kleine Nudeln (beans, lentils, rice or small pasta)
  • Breites Klebeband oder Papier und schmales Klebeband (wide sticky tape or a piece of paper and small sticky tape)


Bemale Deine Klopapierrolle. (Colour the toilet paper roll.)

Klebe ein Ende mit breitem Klebeband zu oder schneide ein Stück Papier zurecht und klebe es mit schmalem Klebeband fest. (Tape up one end or cut a piece of paper and stick it with small sticky tape.)

Fülle Bohnen ein. (Pour the beans in.)

Kleb die andere Seite zu. (Tape the other end closed.)

Deine Rassel ist fertig! (Your shaker is ready!)

Superschnelle Rassel: Bohnen in einen kleinen Plastikbehälter oder Wasserflasche geben (achte darauf, dass er gut schließt). Superfast rattle: Put beans into a little plastic container or empty water bottle, and close tightly.