Snakes and Shakers – Frugal Fun Friday in action!

Gaelic-Snakes-and-Shakers-2015.4-06I used one of Mairianne’s Frugal Friday ideas as inspiration for an activity for my groups last month. In fact, it worked so well that we used it in three different settings – Na Rionnagan Beaga Inbhir Theorsa, Croileagan Inbhir Theorsa and Bettyhill Bumps and Beyond.

After spending a good while piercing holes in what seemed like millions of bottle tops, we began our activity. I made use of some glittery shoe laces I had bought previously. (I knew they would come in handy for something!) However, it wasn’t just the end result that the children enjoyed. Parents were amazed at how long the young children concentrated on lacing the bottle tops on to the shoelaces.

Firstly, we all gathered around the activity tray and sorted the milk bottle lids into different colours – this was led by the youngsters and not actually something I had planned to do but it worked really well and helped with their Gaelic colours and also their counting skills.


They were delighted to find that we had dearg – red, gorm – blue and uaine – green lids  and also one purpaidh – purple lid! Then we chose a coloured shoe lace each and spent a good while threading the bottle tops on to the laces and talking about patterns, colours and numbers again!

A knot was tied in each shaker and that was them tuned up and ready to go! If only all instruments were so easy to prepare!


Our wee ceilidhs at the end of group sessions were much enhanced by the new percussion section! We were able to beat in time with our shakers and also count out the amount of beats.


Some of the wee shaker players did manage to escape from the band, however, and turned their instruments into shaker snakes! This encouraged the children to use more vocabulary.


Gaelic animals and also encouraged some different movement in the activity when they all pretended to be slithery snakes on the floor!!


All in all it was a great activity and really rewarding to see how the children became involved and used their imagination in the creation of patterns, rhythms and music. And snakes!!

A reminder of all our Frugal Fun Friday ideas to date!

Carol-Anne Farquhar, CALA Gaelic Parent Toddler Development Worker