Today is the first of a series of Guest Post on Rainy Day Mum from some of my favourite Bloggers from around the world. Today I’m handing over to Carolyn from The Pleasantest Thing a regular contributor to Tuesday Tots linky and some Science of Music.

Hello, Rainy Day Mum readers! I’m excited to share with you a fun music activity my boys (4 1/2 and 1) and I did recently.

Little kids love creating music. Anytime I bring out our instruments, the kids dive right in, surrounding us with bangs and quavers and ringing. During our last jam session, I added a little science to the fun.

Sound From Vibrations

My children are 4 1/2 and 1, so while they are too young to grasp the concept of pitch and compression of air, they can observe and experience the concepts at work.

To introduce the idea that vibration causes sound, we made noises into a paper cup. They placed their hands around the cup, and I explained that as they made noises into the cup, they could feel the cup moving.  I explained that the vibrations cause sound.

I asked my 4 year old to make louder noises and a quieter noises. This way he could feel that when he makes a louder noise, vibrations were stronger. When he was quieter, the vibration was weaker.

Science of Music

String Instrument

We played with our guitar, plucking on strings and seeing that the strings vibrate over the sound hole and make noise, and that the noise stops when we put our fingers on the string, stopping the string’s vibration.

It’s easy to create your own simple string instrument by placing several rubber bands over a box. When the rubber bands are plucked, the vibrations are easy to see. The boys both enjoyed doing this as well. And with the rubber bands the vibrations are very apparent.

Wind Instrument

We then checked out our wind instrument, which is a plastic child’s recorder. I explained to my 4 year old that when he blows into the instrument, his air creates a vibration in the instrument, which creates the sound. Just like how the cup vibrated when he make a sound, the instrument vibrated when he blows into it. Of course we had to blow on the instrument several times, so he could check it out for himself.

I introduced the concept of pitch by drawing his attention to the differences in sound created by covering the holes. Before we tried it out, I asked him if the sound would change if we covered up the holes as he blew on it as compared to when we just blew leaving the holes uncovered. Then we tried both ways, to demonstrate the difference in sound.

I held the instrument for him to see and briefly explained that when the holes were covered, the air had a travel a longer distance before it could leave the instrument. If the holes are uncovered, the air can escape sooner.

My children are a bit young to get into anything beyond the introduction of the concept of sound as vibration. If you have an older child, this website has a great demonstration on pitch and amplitude.

[custom_author=Carolyn @ Pleasantest Thing]

Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.


  1. Love music – thanks for the post. So much to learn from music. Thanks for sharing.
    Cathie at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.