Monday, 25 May 2015

Material Mondays - Music Shakers

For the past couple of years my mum – who has dementia has been finding textures quite fascinating especially the kitchen table which has a tiled effect – being smooth and cold to the touch.  I realised that texture is important to her and I am in the process of putting a few things together that will not only be stimulating but provide some therapeutic benefit for her as well, so while she is not able to communicate how it feels she can express it in other ways with a smile of remembering what she used a particular material for or just go with the experience.

I have found that music is also something that she really enjoys, and made these shakers, because music therapy is something that can have a great impact on those who are dealing with dementia.  These shakers are made from a variety of materials and I will see which one/s she prefers holding.
Shakers filled with pulses and covered with a variety of materials

I made them because sound and music can have such a positive effect on our health.   While I have been caring for mum for over 15 years I am still learning about dementia, how it has affected her and how it continues to affect her as her health declines.  Loneliness and isolation is something that many elderly go through, even those who are carers can find the role goes hand in hand with isolation.  I have found that until you have experienced dementia, or know someone who has you really don’t have any idea of the impact it has on lives and the once simple things that you took for granted can no longer been seen in the same light.

Duct tape shaker

I know that it has changed me in so many ways, and talking about the experience helps others to understand from another perspective.  I have shared much in this blog and you can find a link HERE and sharing is a good thing, even those hard to express parts knowing that you are not along in the walk can make such a difference.

Washi tape shaker
I made these shakers very easily with paper towel rolls and toilet roll tube.  You can fill them with a variety of materials, pulses, dried pasta, lentils, or a mixture.  

Fabric tape shaker

It is good to experiment cause they make different sounds depending on the size, you can cover them with whatever material you desire, and I have used duct tape, washi tape, fabric tape and chamois leather.  

Chamois leather shaker - painted using stencils

My favorite is the leather because of the scent as well, and I am looking forward to seeing which one becomes mums favorite and will let you know how she gets on with them.

Do share what you create and how you use it, remember as you are a blessing you will be blessed.


  1. Sorry to hear about your Mom. Nice to have such a caring daughter.

    1. She seems to like the shakers, not quite decided her favorite yet!

  2. You are such a caring daughter!! I love how you pay attention to your mom and try to capitalize on what pleases her. My mother-in-law suffered from dementia & then had a stroke. This was all why she was living with us. Since the stroke compromised her small muscle motor movements, we searched for ways to help her retrieve some of her abilities. One of her favorite things to do was to fine a "treasure" in a bowl of dried beans. Usually the treasure was a candy. She'd pop her hand in the bowl and feel around for the treasure. She loved the textures of the beans and having to feel for the candy helped her hands. As an alternate, we sometimes had her take one bean out of the bowl at a time ... that also worked her hand muscles. I know that your efforts are making your mom's life better!

    1. The beans are a great idea, its funny how something so simple can be so rewarding!

  3. Awww you are an angel! You really move my heart by arting all those variations for her! I am sure, she will love them all! ♥ Conny
    Piaroms Art Journaling

    1. I think I might have to start creating different shapes as well, she has kind of taken a shine to the leather one.


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