June 17, 2018 (Father's Day!): From the Sound of It

Sounds of summer are all around us. Let's use them to explore.

Activity 1: Seeing Sounds

Supplies Needed:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubber band
  • Jar
  • Sugar (rice or popcorn)

Supplies for 
      activity 1

Experiment with sounds


What you are seeing is the result of the sound waves traveling through the air and hitting the plastic wrap. What are sound waves?
Find an explanation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGjxfx8sy6s .

Activity 2: Have to Hanger-Bang It Out

Supplies needed:

  • String
  • Scissors (to cut string)
  • Metal clothes hanger (or metal substitute)
  • Other hangers


  • Attach two strings to the ends of a wire hanger, suspending it upside down.
  • Bang the hanger against the table.
  • What do you notice?
  • Wind strings around your index fingers and place your finger in your ears. Bang the hanger against the table.
  • What do you notice? What do you think caused this? How might this relate to sound waves?
  • What do you think happens if you change the length of the string, the kind of string, or use plastic hangers instead of wire?

Activity 3: Traveling to the Sound of a Different Drum

Supplies for 
  activity 2

Supplies needed

  • Empty Containers
  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Stuff for decorating



Where's the math? Recognizing, extending, explaining and recording patterns is part of the development of Algebraic Thinking. For children, mathematical patterns can be chunks that repeat (ABABAB...) or grow (ABAABAAAB...). For more examples, see "Too Many Thanks", part of our The Mathsters series. Recognizing patterns is also an important component of a child's intellectual development. Patterns extend and therefore can lead to predictions and generalizations. Children recognize patterns of all sorts in their surroundings and gradually begin to use this as a strategy for problem solving and as a tool for developing understandings (often initially over-generalizing or under-generalizing). It's beneficial to draw attention to patterns.