Summer has arrived! Whether it’s summer on the calendar or not, doesn’t actually matter. The fact that it’s been 95˚F matters. And that means it’s time for water play! Because, really, what else are you going to do when it’s that hot outside? Today, we took our water play inside for a little bit and had an impromptu session of making musical instruments with glass bottles.
Materials needed for making instruments with glass bottles:
Glass bottles (any size or shape will work)
Spoon or butter knife
When I say that this was an impromptu activity, I totally mean it. Shiloh was playing with some cups in the sink and they were making a cool noise. That got me thinking about all the Snapple bottles we’ve been saving for the past few weeks. So we decided to make some music!
I filled three bottles with water to different levels. You can use as many bottles as you want, but I thought three would be manageable for Shiloh.
Then, I demonstrated blowing into the top of the bottle and asked Shiloh to copy me. I was very pleased that she didn’t try to make any additional noises with her mouth, she just blew.
I demonstrated switching quickly between two bottles and made some musical patterns. Then, I held the bottles for her while she blew and I switched the bottles.
I was starting to get worried that she was going to make herself hyperventilate by blowing out so much, so I picked up a spoon that was nearby and showed her how to make the sounds different by tapping the different bottles.
We also discovered that you can make different tones by tapping on different sections of the bottle. The section filled with water will give off a different tone than the empty portion at the top.
Then, we decided to try a butter knife to see if that changed the sounds. It did! (We tried both ends of the knife too.)
This is a very classic activity, that has been done for generations, but it’s important to remember that our preschoolers might not have tried it yet and for them it’s an exploration into an area of sound that they have never experienced before.
Some words that you can practice while doing this activity are: tap, ring, blow, hear, high, low, different
For an extension with a more-skilled child, you could fill many bottles with water and ask them to line them up according to their sounds with the high-pitched bottles at one end and the low-pitched bottles at the other end.
Our Favorite Kids Books About Music:
We can’t live without these!
Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun activity, take it a step further with these engaging resources:
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Every Little Thing: Based on the song ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley (Music Books for Children, African American Baby Books, Bob Marley Books for Kids) (Bob Marley by Chronicle Books)Little Critter: Just a Little MusicWelcome to the Symphony: A Musical Exploration of the Orchestra Using Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5Music Is in EverythingToddler Books About Musical Instruments: Books for Toddlers About Musical Instruments and How they are Played.M is for Melody: A Music Alphabet (Art and Culture)This Magical, Musical Night
Planning for a Community Helpers Theme? We’ve done all the work for you!
We now have interactive thematic lesson plans for toddlers (18-35 months) AND preschoolers (3-5 years)! Get ready for fun and learning with unit lesson plans for your COMMUNITY HELPERS THEME. Explore a variety of themed hands-on activities! Easy to follow lesson plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners. For more information, click on the graphics below:
Enjoy making musical instruments with your preschooler!
The #PlayfulPreschool team is sharing fun ideas for learning with water today! Be sure to check out all the great ideas!
- Alphabet Activities: Washing the Letter Dishes
- Alphabet Hunt in a Water Sprinkler
- Pie Tin Boats – an engineering challenge for the whole family
- Water Displacement Experiment