Today, Christy from Thriving Stem is sharing her Chicken Bone Science exploration with her kids, so I thought I’d share a recent Water Xylophone activity that Ella and I enjoyed, which blended music education and science experimentation in a fun and colourful way!
To start off with, we assembled our materials:
- 6 repurposed baby food jars
- Blue, red, and yellow food colouring
- Measuring cup
- Xylophone striker
Ella used the measuring cup to portion out varying amounts of water into each jar. We tried our best to ensure that each jar had slightly less water than the jar previous to it. This took a lot of evaluating and adjusting to get things exactly right.
We could have stirred the dye to help it set faster, but we sat and enjoyed watching the dye slowly spread throughout each jar and change the entire water contents of each. This is a great opportunity to talk about pollution or how contamination occurs.
Next, I encouraged Ella to use her striker and play her “water xylophone” and she was pleasantly surprised to hear how each colour had it’s own distinct sound. She experimented quite a bit to see if the tones would stay consistent before putting forth some great hypotheses.
Here is a free printable of the scientific process for you to use when designing and leading science experiments with kids. The process is simpler than it may seem – simply observing what they are seeing and using those observations to “guess” why something might be occurring is half of the process!
Of course, once we were done playing the water xylophone, Ella decided to mix the coloured water together and see how that effected both the colour and the tone of each jar.
I know some people might have a hard time with a child “ruining” the xylophone, but I try to keep the perspective that the whole point is experimenting and being engaged. If she had started mixing the colours before we got around to the xylophone experiment, I would have reminded her why we were setting up the xylophone and said “when you’re done with mixing, you can help me set up a new xylophone.” As long as she wasn’t being destructive (breaking the glass jars, etc) I would be completely fine with steering off course for a bit.
(That’s something I learned awhile ago during our gravity experiment!)
In addition to linking up with Christy’s Kids Kitchen Chicken Science post, there are some wonderful Montessori bloggers sharing their Montessori Music posts today — be sure to check them out too, as part of our 12 Months of Montessori Learning:
And, if you’d like to receive our posts via e-mail, you can subscribe to our daily or weekly newsletters: