Musical Water Glass Xylophone kids sound science experiment teaches preschoolers and kindergarteners how sound waves travel and different pitches are produced.
Have you ever tried making your own DIY Musical Water Glass Xylophone? It is a super fun kids sound science experiment that you can easily conduct at home. Besides, you will be using materials readily available around the house, so the set up should be minimal. Just fill glasses with different amounts of water, and your little scientist will use own observations to create a musical instrument. Does the pitch of the sound go up or down as water is added to the glass? Find out below and in the meantime, let’s conduct this cool Water Xylophone Sound Science experiment!
YOU’ll need for this Musical Water Glass Xylophone
- identical clear glasses (cups or mason jars)
- food coloring
- tap water
- some sort of silicone sticks (we are using Xylophone sticks, but you can also use wooden sticks or a plastic spoon)
HOW TO conduct Water Xylophone Sound Science
First, arrange glasses in a line and fill them up with water in equal decreasing increments. So, you will pour less and less in the next subsequent glass. Then, add food coloring to give the water a color-pop. (Coloring the water it totally optional as it has no effect on the musical sound. However, bright colors look more visually appealing.) Lastly, invite your child to tap each glass gently and discover the sound each glass makes!
We are using four tall thick crystal glasses and these test tubes with this stand. (Although thinner wine glasses make beautiful music, I would not recommend using them due to its fragility. Also, make sure that glasses have no cracks since if there is a fracture, that glass will ‘produce’ any music.)
Science mystery behind this STEM Sound Science
Sound travels about four to five times faster in water than in air. So, the water is affecting the speed at which the sound waves are traveling and vibrating. Thus, even if you tap glasses at the same spot, if they have a different amount of water, the sound will be different.
This activity is a great way to stimulate senses, exercise your child’s science skills, as well as musical abilities. You can even incorporate math by using measuring cups and fractions. Moreover, you can add a sensorial dimension to this activity by offering your child to create secondary colors by mixing primary colors together. Or, explore musical creativity and invite your child to “compose” a song or play a familiar tune. Finally, explain to your child the “magic” of sound waves. And, most importantly, have fun!
If you enjoyed Musical Water Glass Xylophone, check out below some other fun STEM science experiments.
Please, always supervise your children.
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