A Rainbow Xylophone!

Children will have the opportunity to create their own rainbow water xylophone! This is a fun way to experiment with mixing colors and ultimately gives children the chance to create an instrument with many sounds!

First, line up 6 jars/glasses and fill each up with a different amount of water. You and your playschooler could start by filling a glass almost completely full and continue by filling each next cup less and less. Another way to go about filling the glasses is to first fill them all up with just a little bit of water and then add more after tapping and listening to the different pitches. It’s up to you! Ultimately, you just want to have glasses with different amounts of water.

Next, it is time to add some color! This step is optional, but is a great way to enhance the activity. Similar to how we use water colors in the classroom, you can ask your playschooler how many drops of a color they would like in each glass. You can also wonder together what would happen if you mixed together two colors. I chose to create a rainbow, but follow your child’s lead and create a variety of colors that they are excited about! It can feel so fun to stir each cup and watch as new colors emerge.

Now it is time to test out your new instrument! By gently tapping each class with a utensil your playschooler will be able to hear different pitches with each cup. Because this activity works best with glass, it is best to practice softly tapping the jars and supervise closely. Together, notice sounds that are higher or lower. I wonder if you can play your own song?

Enjoy! And remember, no pressure - have fun with it and tap into what makes it fun for your family!

I wonder...

I wonder statements are a great way to introduce concepts to children, stimulate their curiosity while modeling the pleasure of learning, and embrace ideas in a fun and unpressured way!

    I wonder what sound it will make when I tap my spoon on the glass?
    I wonder what it will sound like if I tap on this other glass?
    I wonder if they sound the same?
    I wonder what will happen when I mix blue and red? Red and yellow? Yellow and blue?
    I wonder how many drops of color we should put in?

Project Supplies

Mason jars or drinking glasses
Water
Chopsticks (Metal utensils also work well, but be sure to supervise closely so that the glass does not break from hitting it too hard)
Watercolor or food coloring
Towels

Project Gallery

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Natalie & Ben Heineman Smart Love Center

2222 N. Kedzie Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60647

Oak Park Location

1010 Lake Street, Suite 500

Oak Park, IL 60301

Preschool: 773.665.8052 ext. 1

Counseling: 773.665.8052 ext. 4

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