Simple Rhythm from Nurse Lulu's Clowning on a Budget

The goal in hospital clown visits is to entertain while empowering the patient, so it’s always good for them to participate as much as they are able to. One great way is by having them be the rhythm section in a musical piece. Every clown item that patients touch must be washable or wipeable with antimicrobial products, so letting them keep the instruments is a good idea. However, giveaways can become expensive, so making your own is in order. Try making several simple rhythm shakers.

Tips: I purchased all these items in a dollar store and I gave away all the shakers I made to my special needs acting class.

Materials needed:  Small box of rice, Popsicle sticks, Mini storage containers, Decorative tape, Regular tape, Glue gun


  1. Put a handful of uncooked rice in mini containers.

  2. Secure container covers with decorative tape.

  3. Put globs of glue on cap side of decorative tape.

  4. Place popsicle stick end on glue (secure with regular tape if you are only using one container).

  5. Add glue on another prepared container and place on popsicle stick if using two containers.

  6. Secure with regular tape on both sides (areas without decorative tape).

  7. Here are shakers made with one and two containers.

  8. Decorate with ribbons, paint, markers or glitter as desired.

Lucy E. Nunez has been a theatrical performer since 2002 and created Nurse Lulu for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care program in 2014.  For more information please visit:


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