Montessori-Inspired Rattle

This past week Aaron and I were in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving. I'll be posting more about that later, but for now, here are the instructions for the homemade rattle I showed you last week.

NOTE: after making the rattle Aaron pointed out that we couldn't be 100% sure that the bells were safe for babies to suck on. We have been on the hunt for bells that explicitly say they are non-toxic. So far, no luck. I've looked on Etsy and asked Montessori toy makers where they purchase the bells they use for the rattles, and they said they just use the Darice Craft bells, which were recommended by Montessori experts.
 I'm including these instructions for anyone that feels comfortable using craft bells or are able to find non-toxic bells :)

This toy is great for two month old infants you can grab onto things and enjoy hearing themselves make noise when they move their arm. 
You can read more about Montessori toys here.

5/8" wooden dowel cut into 4" length
hook screw eyes (#216)
metal bells
Screwdriver with smallest drill bit size

1. Polish wood handle with homemade wood polish (see link above for recipe). Using small drill bit, drill hole into each end of wood handle.

2. Open end of two hook eyes, enough to fit inside the end of bell.

3. Attach hook eye onto end of bell.

4. Seal the hook eye using pliers.

5. Manually (using your hands) screw hook eye into the hole at the end of wood handle.

You're done! As I mentioned above, if you're worried about potential toxins on the craft bells, you can search for bells either on Amazon or on Etsy.


  1. wouldn't you think that the bells would be unsafe for babies tongue? what's been your experience using this rattle? i love it and want to make one, but am concerned with the safety.

    1. I was worried about it as well, and then one day he was sucking on it and it pinched his tongue! So I didn't let him use it anymore. Montessori uses it for babies around 2 months, before they hit the oral stage, so it's mainly just for them to grab and hold onto, and then see the cause-and-effect of them shaking it and making sound. Once they try to put it in their mouth you know it's time to put it away. My babies have loved shaking it and watching me shake it, but I put it away once they hit the oral stage. Hopefully that helps!

  2. You could always make a cover with material to put around the bells so that it still makes the noise and won't matter if it goes in their mouth. I might try that. There has to be a way that you could put a protective layer over it.

    1. I thought that as well. I might try using some thin cotton around the bell. I thought it might work to essentially gather the cloth around the bell and punch a small hole for the screw. You could even turn the ends of the cotton into a tassel to wave around.

  3. Hi, i’m wondering where can i buy these materials from?