Friday, December 3, 2010

Jingle Bell shakers promote early literacy development

Earlier this week I reviewed Jingle Bells by Iza Trapani.
Jingle BellsAfter we read this book, I saw these cute (and easy) Jingle Bell ribbon shakers at Little Wonders' Days and I knew we had to try them out.

You can buy a jingle bell "shaker" fairly cheap this time of year if you don't want to create one.
But I just used "leftovers" around our house. I used some plastic rings that I had in my craft box. They were originally supposed to be the handles to a lovely homemade purse-- I never made the purse! However a leftover ribbon spool or an empty tape roll would work great too.
I used scraps of ribbon but if you want yours to be fancier you could buy Christmas ribbon.
I did buy a bag of jingle bells and I just sewed them to the bottom of each piece of ribbon.

Many skills can be learned from creating homemade instruments and singing with them.

  • Music promotes listening skills. Developing listening skills is a preparatory activitiy in developing phonological awareness.  Ask your child to listen as various instruments play. Do they sound high or low? Soft or quiet? Same or different?
  • Singing songs promotes memory. It is doubtful that a 2 year old would memorize an entire book like this Jingle Bells book. However, put it to music and most 2 year olds have it down. Memorizing text is a great way to begin to "read".
  • Singing songs promotes language acquisition. My boys were introduced to vocabulary such as bells, sleigh, snow.
  • Singing songs promotes rhyming. Children who hear and learn rhyming text will be more successful when they begin to learn to read.
  • Shaking the bells provides gross motor practice. You might want to add a little dancing with your musical instrument, too!
  • Music bonds children and adults. Ever changed a dirty diaper with a fussy baby?? Then you know what I'm talking about. I song can get that screaming, wiggly baby to hold still for a while.
We sure are enjoying our Sounds of the Season!

I am linking this up:

NurtureStore Carnival of Junk Play

Shibley Smiles
We Play at Childhood 101


  1. I didn't know about this book. We'll have to look for it to go along with our bells! Thanks for the mention too.

  2. Thank you so much for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I Stumbled you post.

  3. We sing all day, every day. I love watching my toddler's ears prick up when i start singing - he really tunes in. When he was 12months he'd finish Twinkle Twinkle for me. I'd sing "how I wonder what you..." and he'd sing "aaaahhh". So cute!

    My 4 year old tells me not to sing these days (she also puts her hand over my mouth sometimes!) so I guess she's over it - but she's now a great singer herself and sings and hums constantly as she goes about her day.

  4. This is a very fun idea--thank you for sharing it!! My boys would love this!

  5. I linked to your post in my post:

  6. What sweet jingle bells, the rings are a great idea.

    Thank you for linking to We Play this week :)

  7. Great useful craft for busy little hands, and how exciting that you were featured on Mommy Moment!

  8. Hi Jackie, thanks so much for joining in with our Carnival of Junk Play. We have some curtain rings with ribbon streamer which we use for dancing but I'd never thought to add little bells too.

  9. Oh, home made instruments are the best!!! So creative and fun!

    I would love for you to visit Kids Get Crafty (every Wednesday on Red Ted Art) current link up is here:

    Hopefully see you there!