Monday, January 19, 2009

Baracka Maracas

Please know this is not to be taken too seriously. We're just having fun and wishing to make some noise during the Inauguration. And I admit that I am already deviating from the purpose of this blog -- to show how books inspire our activities. In this case it is the event itself, and not the reading material that is giving inspiration for some crafty fun. Please forgive me on this one occasion. Next time, I'll put the focus back on the books!
BOOKS: I will admit that I have not yet found a really great choice that works for my almost three-year-old. Governmental concepts are rather lofty for him. But picking up the newspaper or a magazine article and just TALKING about it in our own words works really well. We look at the U.S. map and talk. We look at photos of D.C. (our former home and my son's birthplace) and talk. We also talk about citizenship and what it means to be a good person in our community. There are many Barack Obama books for children out there, and I admit we have yet to browse them. If anyone suggests one for a three-year-old, do share. Otherwise, Duck for President by Doreen Cronin might work well for this age group.

ACTIVITY: Shake Your Baracka! A friend told me that her two-year-old daughter has been referring to her maracas as "barackas". This made me laugh, of course, but it also made me think, "Why not? What a fun project." So now we have something to shake while we watch the Inauguration.Before involving my son, I thumbed through magazines and cut out small photos of Obama. I then took a dixie cup and cut a tiny slit in the bottom and then slid a popsicle stick into it. From the inside of the cup, I put a few pieces of scotch tape on the stick and the cup to loosely stick together.

Then, my son added a small, toddler-sized handful of dried beans. I covered the entire cup with tape (we happened to have blue painter's tape on hand, which worked great with our patriotic color scheme.)Next, my son glued on the Obama photos and stuck on star stickers.Now we can shake our barackas!

Note, these are not meant to last too long. Shake too much and the beans get stuck to the tape. Put in the hands of your one-year-old, and the maracas get mangled. But for Inauguration Day, it's a fun thing to have on hand.


  1. what a great idea!

    my mom gave will "my mama voted for obama" which is a cute book, albeit partisan. duck for president was definitely great for our almost 3 year old.

  2. I think your noise makers are fun!
    We read "Duck for President" yesterday and today we are listening to "So You Want To Be President" as a book-on-tape in the car. I also baked cupcakes to eat while watching the Inauguration.

  3. What a fun idea!
    Barack Obama does have a fun name, doesn't he?
    Today was a great day. :)

  4. Totally cute! Great idea and thank you for sharing it! Maybe this will be a new "phunny phrase" i can get my 6 y/o to focus on. Ever since she's figured out that "Momma" rhymes with "Obama", she been calling me "Momma Obama". Probably the REAL Mrs. Obama would have something to say about that. :o)

    God Bless the USA!

  5. I love these SO much! Definitely in the category of "wish I'd thought of that"!
    BTW, great site... the folks at told me to check you out and I'm so glad they did.
    Best wishes,

    Erica S. Perl
    Children's Book Author, Writer, Editor
    Psst… You know what?
    CHICKEN BUTT!(Coming Spring 2009 from Abrams)