Story Book Art Activity: “Violet’s Music”

Story Book art activity:
“Violet’s Music” by Angela Johnson 

Music Shaker: Find Your own Unique Beat  

Ages: 7+ (This project can be adapted for younger kids if you punch the holes with hammer and nails and supervise objects with sharp edges. They may also need help assembling.)

Description: Violet has loved music ever since she was a tiny baby. All day long, she played with every type of instrument she could make or find. As she grew older, she tried to find others who were interested in music, too. It took her many years, but she remained true to who she was. Finally, she met a group of friends who loved music as much as she did. They started a band together! In this project, you will learn to make a music shaker out of sticks and items from your recycling bin. You can make music out of most anything and then learn to create your own unique beat!

Conversation/Reflection Questions 

Journal about, think about or ask each other:

  • What is unique about you?
  • What is unique about your friends that you value in them?
  • How can you be creative with the items in your house?


  • A big stick in the shape of a “Y” (Go on a walk to find one, make sure it’s strong to shake, but also small enough to hold)
  • Any items you can find around your house that make noise or can clink together: Bottle caps, pull tabs, crushed cans (have an adult crush them!), bells, etc. Get creative!
  • A hammer and large nail (if you don’t have this, you can still make it work)
  • Scissors
  • Wire is best, but strong yarn works!

Optional:  Items to decorate like yarn, paint


1. Punch holes in your metal pieces with a hammer and nail. **Have an adult help you!** ProTip: If you don’t have a hammer and nail, you can get creative with how you can hang your objects, as long as they move freely to clink together. 😊
2. Attach wire or string to one tip of the “Y” and begin to string your objects. Pro tip: You can put masking tape on the end of your string to make it into a “needle.”
3. Attach wire or string to the other tip of the “Y.” You can move your way down, crisscrossing and adding more jingly things as you go.

4. Optional: Decorate your stick by wrapping it in yarn or painting it!
5. Shake it around, toot your own horn, have a parade (of one, of many people or pets) and find your OWN unique beat!