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Kid Talk: Patriotic Shaker

If you live in the United States, then you know that Memorial Day and the Fourth of July are great times to reflect and express pride in one's country. In an effort to help my kids show off their patriotism, we recently made some fun paper plate shakers. These red, white and blue creations are the perfect thing for a parade or backyard celebration. You can change up the paint colors to create a shaker for any occasion.

You will need:

Red, white and blue tempera paint

Paintbrushes

2 sturdy paper plates

1/4 cup of popcorn kernels

Stapler

Red tissue paper cut into 3 long strips

Cut three long strips out of red tissue paper and set aside. Pour red, white and blue paint into separate cups. Give your child with two sturdy paper plates turned over so the back part is facing up. The paper plates we used were thicker than the kind that have the ruffled edges.

I just gave my daughter the two plates to paint but didn't give her much direction since I wanted to see how she would design her shaker.

She painted the rim of the plate red and filled in the rest of the plate with her patriotic colors.

Our plates took a while to dry. My daughter likes nice, thick layers of paint so we left ours overnight just to sure they were completely dry.

Assembling the shaker is an adult job. When the plates are dry, turn one over and fill up the inside with the popcorn kernels.

Place the other plate on top so that the painted side faces out. Slide in the tops of the three strips of tissue paper you cut out earlier so that they hang out of the paper plates. Staple the plates together all the way around. Make the staples close enough together so that no kernels can come out. If you have a very young child you may want to tape over the backside of the staples so she doesn't try to pull them off and get pinched. It has not been an issue with my four year old, but you know your child best.

Now your shaker is ready to play with! Your child can shake it to make some noise and celebrate patriotic holidays. My daughter has been having a blast just running around the backyard and watching the tissue paper fluttering behind her. My older kids made some as well and they work great for impromptu parades around the house.

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