Failure and successful experiments

November 23, 2012 at 10:36 am 1 comment

Today we were supposed to go on a play date with two boys from Alexander’s class next year. One we know vaguely through pre school and the other we don’t. Unfortunately Alexander ran an unexplained fever all day yesterday and though it is down today it is fluctuating so I decided to stay home much to the disappointment of the children.

Alexander asked his father how we talk so I thought an experiment about sound would be good. I had bought a book with simple science experiments.

All we needed was a glass, a balloon, scissors, sticky tape and sugar. All if which we had at home.

You cut off the neck of the balloon, stretch over the glass opening and sticky tape down to retrain stretch ones. We had fun taping the drum we had made.



You then sprinkle salt and sugar on top.


Then we are supposed to hum 10cm from the glass and the sugar moves.

But it didn’t. We hummed high and low, far and near (but then our breath moved the sugar). When we tapped the glass the sugar jumped.


I was trying to explain vibrations and ripples travelling so I filled a bowl with water and we dropped stones in to try and see the ripples travelling out.


So we haven’t been too successful yet. I did some googling and came up with another idea. I pulled out our drum which had a plastic skin, sprinkled rice and them hummed with my lips pressed up against the drum.

Cheers! We got dancing rice!


When I asked the kids to rate the experiment, thumbs up or down they said thumbs up. I as the adult thought thumbs down because it failed but they reminded me it is the process that is fun not necessarily the end result.

One other thing we tried was talking through a balloon to feel the vibrations on our lips.


Entry filed under: Activity, science experiments. Tags: , , , , .

Surprise success Junk mail Christmas tree

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. ridefireflyfarm  |  November 25, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Clever. It had to be difficult to explain! I’m glad you finally got somewhere with the experiment.


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