by Ayesha S.

My instrument is a pair of Maracas. I chose this instrument because previously my Mom saw a program on the Rosie O'Donnell Show where they were making products using recyclable materials. They showed how to make things such as Easter baskets, eggs, and birthday decorations using paper, balloons and glue.

The family my instrument belongs to is the percussion group. My instrument can be tapped or shaken to produce sounds to different beats of music. One of my maracas represents the flag of Jamaica, the Island where my mother came from. The second one has the flag of Trinidad and this is my father's place of origin.

The materials I used were Elmer's glue, multicolored glitter, red, black, white, green, and yellow paint, paint brushes, pin, newspaper, balloons, flour, water, two pieces of wood, strips of construction paper and red kidney beans. The supplies used to make this project came from several places, including a discount store, Mom's kitchen, and even the park.

My parents helped me with the papier maché and helped me with the carving of the wood. I did all the decoration, blew up the balloons and put beans in the maracas.

First I blew up the balloon. Then, using a small amount of All Purpose white flour and water I made a batter. Now it is time to make the papier maché. Taking strips of newspaper I dipped each one into the batter, then pasted each one on the balloons leaving the tip uncovered. I then set them aside to become dry and hard.

I inserted the beans and wood inside the tip of the balloon and then I covered the end of the wood with construction paper.

Finally it was time to do my favorite part--the decoration. Using yellow, green and black I painted the first maraca with the Jamaican flag. Then with the red, white and black I painted the second maraca with the Trinidad flag. I had trouble keeping the wood sturdy so I asked my parents for help. We taped the wood so that it would keep sturdy in the hole of the maraca.

I think this project was fun and I would love to do another one like this soon. I liked doing the papier maché and decorating it. Maybe next time I will make Easter baskets for all my classmates and teachers. (Something to think about.) I learned that I must be more patient about doing work and I should always have fun when doing a project like this. Guess what? I did. It was great.