Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Make Shakers from Squash Seeds

It is squash season here in Indiana, and though I've never been a huge squash person, I'm making an effort this year to eat more of what's in season. As a result, I have an abundance of different kinds of squash in my pantry. I was making this Turban Squash recipe (beautiful isn't it? Delicious too, by the way!) And it hit me that I could make a little percussion instrument out of the seeds. My youngest son LOVES anything musical, especially drums, guitars, and pianos. I knew he would love to have a shaker.

So, using nothing but things I already had in my house, I made him this shaker. It's not fancy, but it could easily be made prettier. My son is 3, and couldn't care less if his shaker is pretty, all he wants is for it to make noise. All you need is squash seeds, duct tape, and a water or juice bottle.

1. When cooking squash, save the seeds. When you have time, wash them through a strainer. Try to get as much pulp off as you can. If you have trouble, you can soak the seeds in a little water for a day or two and that will help separate the pulp.

2. Put them in a shallow dish to dry out for about a week.

3. Find a bottle or container - I happened to have these small apple juice bottles. Anything a child can easily hold in their hand and shake, will work fine.

4. Make sure the bottle is clean and dry, put dry seeds into the bottle, and put the lid on.

5. If your kid is super responsible, and won't open the bottle and scatter seeds all over the house, then you're done right now! If not (like mine), you'll need to seal the lid onto the bottle.

~ I used duct tape (told ya it's not pretty!). You can buy pretty duct tape, and if I had some on hand I would have used it, but I didn't.
~ You could cover the whole thing with duct tape and let the kids marker on it. I might still do that.
~ You could also let the kids draw/paint a piece of paper, and put it inside the bottle, wrapped around the inside edge so it looks pretty.
~ Be creative!

However you decide to decorate (if at all), you have a shaker! I made two, one for each of my boys, and my older girls (6 and 7) are super jealous, and can't wait til I have enough squash seeds to make more. My 15 year old thinks I'm crazy for saving squash seeds in an old juice bottle. ;)


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