Beat The Heat: Watermelon Tambourine

Today we want to share our 2nd installment of our 10 Fun Ways to Beat The Heat -– Speech and Language Activities” is making watermelon tambourines!!

If you missed our last one please check out our Sun Catchers Blog at


Within this activity you will be addressing so many fun skills and the kids won’t even know that they are “working”!  Fine motor skills and finger and hand strengthening can be addressed with cutting, gluing, hole punching, tearing paper, opening and closing baggies, opening and closing glue, stapling and more!  Academic skills such as simple math and sequencing can easily be implemented.  Don’t forget all the wonderful language that is naturally incorporated into art and art is also a fantastic way to focus on social skills with an adult, with a sibling or with a friend on a play date!  Sharing, taking turns, watching and observing others, commenting and engaging in conversations are just a few fun social skills that can be implemented into art projects.

Let’s make a watermelon tambourine!  This is an easy activity designed especially for little eager hands.  Once they are done, then they can use their finished masterpiece and go to town singing and dancing this summer.  Help your child make his or her own watermelon tambourine following these simple steps!


Here are the Materials what you will need

-2 paper plates

-Macaroni or beans (macaroni elbows pictured here)

-Pink tissue paper or construction paper

-Green tissue paper or construction paper

-Black construction paper





-Optional: Plastic baggies for storage 

In preparation for this craft, you will need to cut little teardrop shapes out of the black construction paper.  These will serve as the seeds on our watermelon!  A great way to cut time in half is to double or triple fold the construction paper before you cut.


You will also need to tear or cut your tissue paper. You can do this beforehand, or you can have your child help you.  Cut or tear the green and pink tissue paper into small pieces, about ¾ of an inch wide and long (or whatever size those little hands desire!) and separate them into plastic baggies.  This is a great way to keep the work area organized (which will help with your child’s attention towards the activity) and make cleaning up a cinch.


Getting Started:

Visual boards are a great tool to help your child understand different routines, activities and play schemes by serving as cues, providing simple language and offering structure.

When using a visual board, it is important to point to the pictures while you talk; this helps draw a linguistic connection to the picture symbols.  Another great way to emphasize language while building on routines is to sing, sing, sing!  Simple songs like, “this is the way we pour the beans, pour the beans, pour the beans.. this is the way we pour the beans.. pour, pour, pour!” are a great way to reiterate language and help your child attend and comment within activities.



The first step in making our watermelon tambourine is to have your child pour the macaroni onto the plate.  Then cover the plate with the second plate by matching them along the edges and staple the plates together.

Next, help your child put glue on the plate.  First, drizzle the glue across the plateau of the plate (the raised middle circle). On this part of the “watermelon,” we need to use pink tissue paper.  “Put the paper on the glue, on the glue!”


Next, you can help your child glue around the rim.  “Glue on plate!”   The simple organization of gluing tissue paper on the plate first and THEN putting glue on the rim is a great technique to help keep the language and directions within the activity simple and easy to understand. By separating these two components, your child can follow the simple directions “paper on glue!” without being confused by long complex sentences, “Put the pink paper in the middle and the green paper on the outside!”

Last but not least, your watermelon needs seeds! Use the black teardrop construction paper pieces as seeds for your watermelon tambourine.  Help your child glue 5-6 dots atop the pink tissue paper or more if he or she wants a super seedy watermelon!


And there you have it!  Allow the watermelon tambourine to dry before playing; Enjoy singing songs and playing along with this special homemade craft!

~KidSpeak, LLC

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