Sunday, August 5, 2012

Exploring Music and Science with a Wind Organ

I love recycled crafts especially those that cover multiple areas of study. These recycled wind organs cover music, art, and science. It took us a while to collect up enough plastic bottles because we are not big plastic users, but we finally gathered enough plastic to make this cool wind organ.

A wind organ will make music when the wind blows. Our wind organ did not make a loud sound, but you could hear it if you were standing about 1-2 feet away from the organ which was a nice treat when we were working in the garden.

We used alcohol based markers (Sharpie®) to decorate the bottles. The marker seems to be holding up well even after getting wet.

You can use these wind organs for some science exploration for your children. Some questions to ask them as they blow into individual bottles:

1.       Which bottles make a high pitch sound?
2.       Which bottles make a low pitch sound?
3.       What do you notice about the holes of the bottles with a low pitch sound?
4.       What do you notice about the holes of the bottles with a high pitch sound?

We ended up with a nice discussion on how our simple wind organ works vs  a pipe organ.

For more information on a how a pipe organ works, please visit Pipedreams® website

For more information on wind organs including sound files from different wind organs please visit Pastorgan

Materials inspired by Plastorgan

Assorted plastic bottles
Sharpie® markers
Twine or string


1.       Have an adult cut a skinny rectangle up the side of a bottle. I did this by inserting the knife in the bottle, then using scissors to cut the rest of the rectangle. You can cut different sized rectangles with varying heights but keep the width at the top and bottom the same to make the science questions are easier to understand for little children.

2.       Color designs on the bottles with the markers.
3.       Tie the bottles to a pole using twine. I found the easiest way to tie the bottles is to tie a loop around the neck of the bottle then tie another loop around the pole that you are attaching the wind organ to.

Posted on Simple Lives Thursday

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