Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Whistle like a bird

One of our children loves to sit up in our tree and she's fascinated by things that fly. This week she decided she wanted to be able to whistle like a bird. Jo found an article, on the web with her, on how to make bamboo whistles and then brought some bamboo in for her to try.

But they found that with out any pictures to help guide them it was a bit hard to figure out exactly what the instructions meant. They asked me if I could help, I've never made a whistle, but I did have a bamboo penny whistle and bamboo pan pipes a while back so I to had a look at the instructions and showed them how to make a pan pipe in the meantime.

This provided a solution and soon lots of children wanted a pan pipe of their own and Jo had to grab them some more bamboo in her lunch break.

Meanwhile I'd managed to figure how to cut the bamboo with a craft knife, using a mix of memory and liberal interpretation, but I still couldn't make it whistle.

Figuring that the problem was with the stopper that fits in the pipe, I whittled and sanded a new one out of some carpentry wood the next day, however still no whistle. So I fitted a nail to let me pull it in and out and it was then found I'd had it too far forward and that that had been the problem the whole time.

I shared my discovery with our whistler and showed her how when it was pushed far in by the straight part of the D there was no whistle, and how when I pulled it back by the curve there was.
She was rapt and after giving it a great try out, put it carefully away in her tree with the collection of pipes she now had.
Blowing it she thought it sounded like a train so she asked Jo for some train music. I helped Jo find some train stories and music for her, and as luck would have it a steam train came through town later in the week!
I had to continue to experiment however as soon more children, not content with pipes, wanted train whistles and hand carving stoppers to size took too much time. I found crayon can make the stopper and is easier to work than wood. We're also going to try some air drying modeling clay when it arrives next week.
I also had to help another girl make a bamboo flute from two sections of bamboo. She's taken it home to drill out the barrier between the two sections, as we couldn't get it out here.
I hope I've rolemodeled
perseverance, persistence and exploration well this week. In this job you're always learning new things.
Meanwhile I've continued researching crickets and found this website
to have some useful information on rearing them. Google "crickets rearing" as there were several more I read if you're interested.
I also got a tip to watch this TED video featuring Juan Enriquez. Well worth a look to see just what the future has instore as he moves from the global financial crisis into bio engineering, robotics, and programmable cells.

I ended up watching about ten more and even learnt a simple way to explain multiple dimensions in time and space, complete with some great visuals of an ant walking around a telegraph wire.
Brian Greene, the universe on a string. This is really cool especially if you have children who like building with lego as Theo Jansen showcases his walking pipe and softdrink bottle animals.

Check out all the TED videos

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