Nov 032014

Cherokee Rattle Craft {Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway} |

This post is part of the Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop & Giveaway (see details below!)

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Growing up in North Carolina, it was common to meet people – black and white – who had Cherokee ancestry.  Most, like me, were far removed from that distant Cherokee relative (in my case, a great-great-great-grandmother) and retained nothing of the cultural and very little of the physical heritage.

So when Native American Heritage Month approached this year, I decided it was a good opportunity to explore our Cherokee roots with my sons.

I found a fun rattle craft in The Cherokee (American Indian Art and Culture) by Rennay Craats. Unlike many of the other non-fiction books I found on the Cherokee, this book includes a focus on present-day culture and includes a few activities and crafts.

As we learned in the book, music and chanting are central to Cherokee ceremonies.  My Monkeys love music and dancing, and while most is not of the “sacred” type, I knew this would be a craft they would really appreciate.

Cherokee Rattle Craft {Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway} |

The book calls for using string and pencils, but I wanted to use up some of the supplies I had left over from their volcano birthday party, plus I thought the plastic spoons would really make some noisy fun.  Adding the “handle” was Monkey’s idea.  In the original craft, kids decorate the pencils, but when I suggested to my kids that they decorate the spoons, Monkey was not enthusiastic.  He spied some empty toilet rolls in my craft closet (always good to have a few on hand!) and really just wanted to paint one of those.

So we made them into handles for the rattle!  If you are doing this with a group of children and want to save a little time, you can always skip this step and just tie the ribbons into a knot.  The kids can hold onto the ends as they shake their rattles.

 Make Your Own Cherokee Rattle

You will need:

Ribbon or string

Plastic spoons (5-6 per rattle)

Toilet paper roll

Paint, stickers


Cherokee Rattle Craft {Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway} |

To make:

Have your child decorate the toilet paper roll with paint and/or stickers, in a design of their choosing.

Cherokee Rattle Craft {Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway} |

Once the paint has dried, make a small hole in the side of the roll.  Cut 5-6 lengths of ribbon or string.  Make them slightly different lengths, so the spoons will really rattle against one another.

Poke the ribbons through the hole and tie them in a knot, so that the end of the knot rests against the inside of the roll.

Tie one spoon around the opposite end of each ribbon.  I found it easier to secure these also with a bit of tape, as otherwise they may slip off with some enthusiastic shakes.

Cherokee Rattle Craft {Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway} |

Have fun making music with your rattle!


 photo 2014NAHMbutton-001_zpsc85ee76c.jpgMulticultural Kid Blogs is proud to host the first annual Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop & Giveaway! Link up your posts on Native American cultures below, and be sure to enter to win one of our great prize packages!

For more great posts about Native cultures, be sure to follow our Native/Indigenous Cultures board on Pinterest!


November 3:

Daria’s Music on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Crafty Moms Share

All Done Monkey

November 6:

Marie’s Pastiche on Multicultural Kid Blogs

November 7:

Toddling in the Fast Lane

November 10:

The Good Long Road

The Mommy Factor

Global Advocate, Jr.

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

November 13:

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures

Our Giveaway

1st Prize Package
US shipping only

From Wisdom Tales:

Children of the TipiChildren of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days, edited by Michael O. Fitzgerald

The Otter, the Spotted Frog and the Great FloodThe Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story, retold by Gerald Hausman

Native AmericansNative Americans, by James Lagomarsino, donated by Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

2nd Prize Package

From Lee & Low Books:

Giving ThanksGiving Thanks: A Native American Morning Message, by Chief Jake Swamp

Buffalo SongBuffalo Song by Joseph Bruchac

Jim Thorpe's Bright PathJim Thorpe’s Bright Path, by Joseph Bruchac

3rd Prize

Himdag postcard setPostcard set from Paper Papel Papier: pack of 12 craft postcards decorated with the word himdag (value $18). Himdag is from the O’odham ñiok language of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona and northwest Mexico. To embrace Himdag is to walk in balance, alone, with others, with nature, and with the Creator.

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Native American Cultures Linkup

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  11 Responses to “Cherokee Rattle Craft {Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway}”

  1. I love Monkey’s contribution to the craft – a toilet paper handle is a great idea 🙂
    You know, I find it difficult to find books and resources about present culture, and though of course aboriginal history is fascinating, it’s a shame when any culture’s present is ignored.

    • Yes, he always comes up with some creative twist on our crafts! And I completely agree – ignoring present culture perpetuates this idea of Native Americans as belonging to the past. Many artists feel trapped, that they are expected to preserve traditions rather than express themselves in new ways.

  2. I love this craft. I grew up around the Tlingit with a Mom in love with their art. So I’m excited about this blog hop.

  3. What a fun craft!! I love it! We may have to try it.

  4. I LOVE this craft – adorable and so easy to make! What a great post!

    • Thank you so much! We really enjoyed it, and I loved getting to share this part of their heritage with the boys.

  5. […] make it to one of the two weekend programs? All Done Monkey provides a step-by-step guide to making Cherokee rattles with your […]

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