Thursday, November 19, 2009

Science of Sound

We had a great time this week playing with sound. We sorted musical instruments by their sound - which turned out to be trickier than expected.

Ears are very interesting ideas. We peered into each other's ears looking for the ear drum, but alas couldn't find it. So we had to rely on a diagram.

Slinky-s are great toys - and a great way to play with the idea of sound waves. You can pull the slinky out and then give one end a little push. You can see the wave travel from the push to the other end. That is how sound waves travel - from the source outward.

We also made a demonstration ear drum with a rubber glove and some rice. NASA has a great website exploring sound and describing a method for making your own "ear drum" model.

Science words: higher, lower, loud, soft, vibration, ear, eardrum

Try these fun activities at home to explore sound with your whole family.

Shake your Shaker: use your shaker or other sound maker to explore spatial relationships. Have your child turn their back then you make noise above, below, under, right, left… of your child. Ask them where the sound was. Then switch roles.

Bats: Bats have great ears. You can make a pair bat ears by making a large teardrop shape on two pieces of construction paper. You can cup them around your ears, or add to a head band so they sit behind your child’s ears. With your eyes closed, do the bat ears help you hear sound better if it is soft? Do you they help tell direction better than people ears?

What makes that sound? Grab some Easter eggs and add a few beans, rice, pennies, rocks, or other small objects inside it. Shake it. Can your child guess what is inside? Is it easier to guess if you shake it yourself? Sound makes vibrations we hear with our ears, but our sense of touch also can sense vibrations. Getting info from both senses might give more clues.

Munch Munch Crunch Crunch: have a loud lunch – what foods can you think of that make a lot of noise? Crunchy orange carrots, rice crispy treats, pita chips, romaine lettuce, croutons…

Go on a sound hike: Find a safe, comfy spot outdoors and sit quietly for at least a minute. What do you hear? Can you make the sounds you heard? What can you identify? What can’t you identify? How can you figure out what made those sounds?

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear? By Bill Martin, Jr.
My Five Senses by Aliki
The Ear book by Al Perkins

1 comment:

  1. And when you go on your sound hike, don't forget to make an audio map! :)