Friday, February 22, 2013

Egg Maracas

We're approaching Easter. It's a good time to reiterate how much I hate eating just eggs, but I have no problem with using eggs for science experiments. Last year's experiments were fairly extensive, but I'll have some new ones to add this year.

The first one comes from an idea listed on Kiwi Crate's DIY website, Egg Maracas. I enjoyed the idea because somehow we end up with collections of these plastic eggs, and it feels so wasteful to just toss them.

Music is very science oriented. Sound, sound waves, pitch, tone, rhythm, etc all have their place in science. I never played a musical instrument, and I was banned from my elementary school chorus. I stuck to dance, which is deeply rooted in music, in particular rhythm and patterns.

Anyways, the basic maraca is easy to make. For each maraca, we used:
- A plastic egg
- Rice
- 2 matching plastic spoons (we collect these too)
- Masking tape (nothing fancy on our end)

What we did:
1. We filled the plastic eggs with rice. Since we had 3 eggs, we decided to use 3 different amounts of rice to see how that would affect the sound.
2. We taped the eggs shut since they seem to easily split open.
3. We placed the spoons so they cupped the egg and the handles met at the bottom. We needed two sets of hands, one to hold the spoons and the egg and one to tape.
4. While one person holds the spoons and egg in place, the other person tapes around the spoons and the egg (just once should be fine) and down where the handles meet.
5. We covered the whole thing (except Big J's maraca) with tape.
6. We decorated the tape with Sharpies (note that rubbing alcohol takes off Sharpie marker in case you have reservations about handing your little one a permanent marker). Crayola rubs off too easily when placed on masking tape.

Lil J, Big J, and my maracas (from L-R)

-Guess which egg has the most rice? You can weigh them or listen to the sound difference. A fuller egg should sound deeper.
- Play a "Simon" like rhythm game where you give a pattern of shakes and your kid repeats them. Get more complex as you go. Let your kid be the leader too.
- Use other items instead of rice. How do beans or pennies sound in your shaker?

**I apologize for the poor lighting and Craisins (and much more you don't see) on our kitchen floor. We were invaded by ants, so what's normally in our cupboards is sprawled on our counters, table, and floors. Good news was this experiment was able to be done in a very small space (and impromptu - right before bed).

1 comment:

  1. Very nice!

    Ant invasions are one thing I do not miss from California!