Our Homemade Castanets

When I asked Gabriella if she wanted to do a project, she threw her hands up in the air and shouted, “Project!” Then she followed up, “Good job, Mama.”

Apparently, she knows “crafty mom” is not my swing zone, but perhaps she also saw my offer as an appropriate outcome of time spent on Pinterest. Actually, this project is from the activities and crafts archives on the website of Daria, a folksinger who promotes world music for kids.

We decided to create our own castanets using just glue, sturdy paper and buttons. A repurposed manilla folder took care of our sturdy paper. Turns out I don’t have a reservoir of buttons, so we collected some coins from Guatemala and my trip to London that were hanging around.

The glue, however, was a mysterious matter indeed. There’d been a glue stick lurking around the house for months. We never used it, but I’d find it in the kitchen by the fruit bowl or, for a long time, on my bathroom sink. Today it was no where to be found.

Eventually, I scrounged and located another glue stick to stand in. Once all our supplies were together, we were ready to start. 

I cut two strips from the folder. (Ella keeps telling me she uses scissors, but one trial run proved that assertion to be a lie.) Then, I let her color them for good measure.

They looked pretty much awesome.

Then, all we did was glue the coins on each end, fold them and voila! Our own castanets! 

This was such a simple and fun craft for Gabriella and me to do together. And I love that Daria’s activities foster introductions to and appreciation for music of the world. It’s such an important part of culture and one that Ella loves at this stage.

Definitely check out her site and the full list of her activities and crafts. She’s also got CDs featuring global music that I’m excited to sample.

All in all, this activity built my confidence that maybe I can do crafts with my toddler. Of course, I’m still convinced I will wake up one morning and a rogue glue stick will be staring down at me from my nightstand. 

What are some of your favorite global crafts for toddlers?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However, I only write about topics I believe would benefit my readers. The kid and the opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


  1. Even more appropriate that you used foreign money for your cultural castanets. Well done. And to quote an adorable toddler, "Good job, Mama!" :)

  2. Wow how clever, lol. Now that's putting money to good use, lol

  3. Hope you all give it a try yourselves! :)


I love to hear from you! Like, seriously. It makes my day. Please feel free to respond, question, or add your perspective. Of course, please keep your words respectful. Thanks for reading and joining in the conversation!

A Life with Subtitles. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.