Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Make your own panpipe

WonderGirl was reading one of her science experiment books this morning and found a page on musical instruments, along with directions to make your own panpipe out of straws, cardboard and tape.  "It looks so easy mommy, can we please make it?? Please??  Please??" she begged.  It looked simple enough, so I found her some straws and a piece of cardboard, but my busy to-do list prevented me from doing anything else.  I told her to read the instructions and I'd get back to her when I had a free moment.

A few minutes later, she came to me and asked me to show her how to play it.  She'd read all the instructions,  found the tape (and cut it - a miracle in itself!)  and did it all herself!!!  I was flabbergasted!!!

I love having a 4 year old that reads!!  The instructions were super easy - cut pieces of straw into different lengths, tape them together on a piece of cardboard, and blow over the tops of them.

I asked her to tell me which ones made higher and lower pitches, and she had a fun time figuring it out (the short ones were higher pitches, the longer ones were lower pitches).

A science experiment that's so easy a kid can do it on their own!!  I love it!  Draw a prototype, write a few instructions and let your wee one try it themselves.  It was such a hit, she even had a rabid fan trying to rush the stage!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Practicing tip - timers!

I found this nifty science activity via Pinterest and then put it to good use.  It's pretty self explanatory - there's one empty glass and another with water and food coloring, and a piece of paper towel running from one to the other.  Give it some time, and the water walks from one glass to the other!  A loooot of time.... we started this about 2:30 this afternoon and it's about halfway done now.  But that wasn't our initial goal...

I set it up and we eagerly watched the color creep up the towel.  I put it within eye shot of the piano, and had WonderGirl work up two new songs in her book.  When we spied the first drops of water in the other glass, piano time was done!  It was a good 30 minutes of pure, excited practicing time, and no "when will I be done??" questions.  It wasn't up to me - it was up to science :)  I'll experiment with smaller glasses and shorter towels for quicker practicing days - and all different sorts of "timers!"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Emergency musical intervention

I sewed these up for us to wear for the 4th from 2 tees!
Have you been having a lovely summer?  We were - and still are, except for an unwelcome visitor this week in the form of a cold for the poor 1 year old Dude.  I had to come home from a play group this  morning because of his hysterics - and it was just across the street!

When we got home, I knew I had one of two choices - turn on Nick Jr. or try to find something he wouldn't scream at.  I got out my trusty laptop and opened this page I'd pinned into my Kid-y board on Pinterest (are you on Pinterest??  I want to follow you!!!):
While he rolled on the floor screaming, I scrolled down as fast as I could and spotted this gem:
36. Bang on Pots and Pans with a spoon
I ran to the pantry, grabbed some pots and utensils, put them in the living room and waited.  It was about 3 seconds until the air was filled with a cacophony I far prefer to tantrums.

I grabbed some utensils of different materials and watched them experiment with the sounds.

Then they got clever and tried some of their own...

What about a truck, or a train whistle?

What about 3 different spoons they use regularly? (WonderGirl grabbed these from the drawer on her own!)

What about a hippo flashlight?

Or a puppy?  (the nose is plastic so that was a neat surprise for the Dude)

What about just using your hands?

WG put them in order of smallest to largest and tested out the pitches that way.

What about stomping with your feet??  (I only let that fly for a minute or so :)

And magically - I finally saw this again:

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