Friday, March 22, 2013

Pre-Schooler Activity: Water & Baby Food Jars

Being a mom of a pre-schooler, I've realized that they love to explore and experiment!  I am always looking for simple "experiments" for her to do and keep her busy!  While we were working on some gardening projects, she discovered that water in baby food jars created different sounds!  She was so excited, we ended up digging out a few more jars for her to play with.

This is an extremely simple, no-mess way to keep your child busy and explore his or her environment.  

Gather the following items:
  • Glass jars or glasses (I happen to have a lot of empty baby food jars, so I opted for those)
  • Water (preferably in something that your child can pour in and out of!)
  • Spoon or metal tool to create sound against glass
  • Other things to clink against the glass such as plastic spoons, wooden spoons, etc. for your child to decide themselves which one works the best  (Optional)

The first thing I did was fill each jar, starting with just a little bit of water, and then adding more and more in each jar.  Once that was finished, I had her use her "tool" to tap each jar and see what kind of sound each one created.  She was so excited to hear the different pitches of sound she got.

Once she realized that the water level was what caused the different sounds, she spent a good hour playing with the jars and water, changing the levels by adding and removing water to test the sounds. 

What I loved about this particular activity is that once I showed her how it worked, she was content keeping herself busy.  It didn't make a mess (other than spilled water), and she was able to do it by herself entirely!

Some good questions to ask your child:
  • What kind of sound does it make if there is just a little bit of water?
  • What kind of sound does it make if there is a lot of water?
  • What do you think will happen if we add more to the jar with the least amount of water? 
  • What do you think will happen if we pour out most of the water in the full jar?

This also opens up a good conversation about "pitch", because you will probably have to explain it to your child.  They will likely know in their head that one jar sounds higher and the other low, (and everything in between), but won't have the words to verbalize it.  

Most of all, have fun watching your child explore and learn!


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