Sunday 25 September 2011


Montessori Activity: Making Musical Scales with Glass Bottles

Age: From 3 years old


1. Introducing the child to high and low pitch and the idea that harmonics of sound work only in a certain order.


1. 5 - 8 glass bottles or glasses filled with water at an increment of 1 inch of level of water for each bottle

2. Teaspoon

3. Food colouring (optional)


1. Place the bottles in front of you in a row.

2. Say "I am going to show you how to make a musical scale".

3. Say, "I am going to find the lowest pitch". Pick up the teaspoon and gently tap the sides of the bottles to find the lowest pitch. When you have found the right bottle (which is the bottle that is completely full), take it out and place it on the left.

4. Say "I am going to find the next higher pitch" and repeat the action in step 3.

5. Shift around the bottles and let your child try.

According to the book "Teach Me To Do It Myself", if your child comments on the different bottle sizes or the water in them making a difference in the pitch of the sound, let him experiment with these ideas.

Additional Information:
Bottle caps, food packaging, milk packet, egg cartons, jar caps, jam jars, toilet roll cardboard, old magazines, shoe boxes, styrofoam... and the latest to add to the collection are beer bottles... I am fast becoming a professional garbage collector... hmmm.... i think i should myself a Green Recycler. That sounds nicer:-)

I tried this activity with Joshua, but J wanted to turn it into a pouring activity. He was not developmentally ready for this yet. I will put it away and try this activity a few months later.

This is a fantastic book providing hands-on guide on Montessori activities that is practical, simple and easy to follow. The book also provides lots of ideas on using simple equipment that you can find at home. I found this idea in this book:


Teach me to do it myself by Maja Pitamic

Updates 28 Dec. 2013 (4Y9M23D)

1 comment:

  1. Elaine, this is a great idea! Thanks for sharing it with us. :)


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