According to a study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute in 2016, “Musical experiences help accelerate brain development in children”. Better yet, if playing the instrument involves some kind of physical movement, it helps accelerate motor skill development, assists in building coordination, and develops a sense of creativity in kids. Maracas, rhythm sticks, xylophone, etc. are a few such instruments that are great for toddlers! In this article, we’re particularly bringing you the finest kids maracas of 2022 and since there’s just so much variety out there to this little, popular percussion instrument - we’ve also curated a buyer’s guide at the end of this article to help you make a decent purchase.
The raw materials utilized in the making of maracas give room to a lot of variety and styles that buyers can choose from. So, without any further ado, let’s get started with the products!
There are 100s of instruments native to a certain race or culture throughout the world - maracas are known to be very popular among the folks living in Southern and Northern parts of America. They’re seen as a percussion symbol for festivities, traditional carnivals, concerts, and more!
Currently, maracas are popular throughout the world and musicians all over the world use them - whether as shakers to produce contemporary styles of music or as a mere toy for the kids to introduce them to healthy musical experiences.
This section will list everything you need to consider before buying a pair of maracas.
Things to Look for When Buying Maracas
As a professional, it’s mainly that ‘cut-through sound’ you should be after since that part usually has the highest preference when recording or while playing live. However, when you’re buying maracas for a kid, safety is the highest priority. The instrument should help your kid with their motor and creative skills and it must be safe for them to use.
When buying maracas for toddlers, here’s what you need to consider:
The maracas must always be of appropriate size - they mustn’t be too long or too heavy. 5-6 inches is usually the ideal size and every-inch above that should account for an year-older child. The point being - the longer the maracas will be, the more they will weigh, and more difficult it will be for your toddler to play them.
The sizing is a matter of safety and you must not compromise on this part if you’re buying maracas for a kid.
The design is both; a matter of safety and also a matter of choosing vibrant, lively colors for your kid. When it comes to the handle of the maraca, it should be made for a kid’s hand, and not an adult’s hand. Secondly, it should not be too-slippery for your kid to drop it over and again.
When it comes to colors, we suggest going with bright red/yellow/blue colors so it can instantly grab a kid’s attention.
The materials used in the making of maracas usually determine their sound as well as durability. They can either be made up of plastic ABS material with a wooden handle, a leather head and handle, a wooden-head and handle, or perhaps even from rawhide or countless other materials. The key is to choose a maraca that has your desired sound.
The inside of the maracas is usually filled with seeds, beads, beans, metal particles, or beans - basically anything that can produce a nice sound when clapped with the head’s body.
When it comes to materials, there is really not a best choice. It only comes down to how good the maracas sound.
It goes without saying but the maracas should be durable - they should be tough enough to withstand those anger throws and chews and whatnot. Plus, since they’re full of seeds or beads, it only makes more sense that they are fully safe for your kids and don’t break in any case!
When you’re buying online, warranty will save you from frets and worries. So make sure the product you’re buying has a decent refund policy or/and comes with some sort of warranty that keeps you secure as a customer.
Some Cool Things to Know About Maracas
What is a maraca exactly?
Maracas are also known as rumba shakers - they’re a hand percussion instrument, usually played in pairs, common in Latin American, South American, Caribbean music. They are traditionally made up of turtle shells or calabash gourds filled with beans, pebbles, or beads. However, since they’re widely adopted throughout the world now, they’re made up of all kinds of raw materials.
What do you call a maraca player?
In Spanish, a maraca player is called maraquero. However, it’s not a widely adopted term.
Why are they called maracas?
The heritage of maracas as a rattle is ancient - the term ‘maraca’ is known to have its origins in the pre-Columbian Araucanian” language. Some say the word roots from Portuguese, via a Brazilian language known as Tupi.
Can I Make Maracas for my Kids at Home?
If you’re planning to make maracas at home - you first need to understand and know their distinct sound. It’s very easy to make shaker drums at home, you just fill in two containers with salt or a relevant inner and you’ve got yourself a pair.
However, when it comes to maracas, the key is to get that rattle sound since they’re filled up with relatively larger particles than salt. It’s mostly either beans, seeds, or beads.
Therefore, if you can put together two old plastic/wooden containers, glue them with two sticks, and fill them up with seeds or beads, you can make maracas easily.
However, if you’re planning to go the DIY way, you need to make sure that the maracas you’re making are sturdy and safe for your children.
Maraca Shaker FAQ
Q: Who invented the first maracas?
A: The history of maracas is very gray - some say that they are inventions of the Tainos, the native Indians of Puerto Rico. The others believe that Maracas are from ancient Moroccan origin. Either way, currently, the maracas are played by people in South America and Caribbean countries like Brazil and Colombia. They’re frequently used in ethnic music, particularly pop, latin, and classical compositions of today.
Q: What is the difference between maracas and shaker drums?
A: Maracas are a type of shaker drums since you have to shake them to produce sound. However, the difference between your traditional shakers and maracas is that the former ones are filled up with sand or basically anything and the inner of maracas is usually seeds, beads, or beans - thicker materials mostly that help produce a rattling sound.
Q: Why are maracas good for kids?
A: Maracas come with a handle and are usually made up of plastic, rawhide, or thin wood. They’re easy to hold, make an interesting sound, and fairly easy to shake because of their handles. Plus, the percussive experience helps stimulate brain development in kids and shaking them helps them develop motor skills.
Q: How much do maracas cost?
A: Buying for a kid? You’ll easily get one within $10 - $20. However, if you’re a professional and you’re looking for an ideal piece, be prepared to spend anywhere between $20 and $50.
Q: What is an easy way to make a maraca?
A: The easiest way to make a DIY maraca at home is by using empty toilet paper rolls. Cover them up with a thick plastic sheet, throw in some beans, attach a stick at the bottom, and make sure everything is glued together perfectly.
Within the city limits of NOLA, you may find Camilla hammering away on her 88, playing anything from old jazz to modern country music. Camilla's goal is to one day open a piano studio in New Orleans where she can teach the black and whites and other common jazz instruments to enthusiastic students. Ms. Haywood hopes to bring instruments to old and new musicians alike, reviewing pianos, orchestral instruments, and other products that make her tap her fingers to the beats.