Achieving Goals in Music Therapy with Fruit Shakers

If there’s one kind of instrument I can’t live without, it has to be the fruit shakers. These fun and colorful instruments hold so many possibilities and bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Pairing the catchy song “Shaky Fruit Salad” with these musical apples, oranges, lemons and bananas is a great way to mix up boring old egg shakers, while still addressing many important developmental goals!

“Shaky Fruit Salad”

Goals for this song include:

  • Increase directional awareness
  • Increase ability to follow directions
  • Improve fine and gross motor skills

This is one of my favorite songs to use in therapy, and one of the best things about the fruit shakers is that my kiddos go crazy for them. The fruit shakers elevate the run-of-the mill shaker song, and give my groups added motivation to follow through with the directives in the lyrics. Even though they’re working on the same goals as with a shaker song, the added element of fun keeps them engaged and interested.

I like to give each child a choice between two shakers, always taking into consideration their language skills. Some children may be able to identify the color of the fruit but not the name. For others, three-syllable shakers like the banana and pineapple are an appropriate challenge.

In my opinion, any kind of verbalization is good, so making choices from a variety of fruit shakers is a versatile goal and can be tailored to each child’s skill level and needs.

Achieving Goals in Music Therapy with Fruit Shakers

This song is so easily adaptable for additional lyrics, so children can shake up high, down low, to the side, behind their backs, and on body parts. I like to incorporate less commonly-used body parts, like the wrist, shoulder, and the heel, especially because the fruit shakers are a little bigger and I usually use them with preschool-aged children who are ready for a challenge.

The physical skill level of each child is another consideration to take into account. Since the fruit shakers are larger than egg shakers, it’s important to think about what each child can hold. Bananas are great for children whose grasp needs work or who require physical assistance, whereas apples and lemons are best for children who are independent and have a solid grasp. Making sure that each child has an appropriate shaker for their physical skills is a great way to ensure that everyone can be successful in this super fun song.

Achieving Goals in Music Therapy with Fruit Shakers

One last fun way to utilize this song is in combination with the parachute to get those gross motor skills into action! The parachute serves as a “fruit bowl” and then all the shaky fruit can be placed on top. As the children work together to shake the parachute, we create our very own shaky fruit salad. This adaptation always elicits a whole lot of giggles ;)

If you’re looking for a way to mix up your repertoire with a fun shaker song, give “Shaky Fruit Salad” a try! Tell me in the comments below…how much do you love fruit shakers?

You can listen to “Shaky Fruit Salad” in its entirety right here. Lyrics, chords, mp3, and instrumental track for this original song are available for download. As is the case for all Listen & Learn Music creations, we invite you to adapt this song as needed to best serve your students and/or clients.