Sep 27, 2014

WonderWorks: Rubber Bands

Amazingly enough, we got through all three sessions of this class without anyone getting serious about shooting rubberbands at their friends--we MUST be working with preschoolers.

Today's Topic: Rubberbands (Technology)
--rubberbands in as many sizes and colors as you can find.  Don't forget about hair bands and ponytail rubberbands!  I also had a large resistance band and some stretchy rubber tubing from a physical therapy office
--Things to wrap rubberbands around (kleenex boxes, bowls, buckets, bookends, hangers, blocks)
--materials to make "Jumping cups"

cover art Just how long can a long string be?! / Baker, Keith
note: this book has nothing at all to do with rubber bands, but I couldn't find any that DID.  Recommendations are welcome!

What I thought kids might do (or where I found inspiration):
Gross Motor idea
a variety of toy "guitar" ideas
Rocket-themed "Jumping cups"
simple rubber band stretching idea
What Kids Do:  wrap the rubber bands around things.
 This makes a pretty good guitar (let's talk about how to make the pitch lower and higher!)

 Interesting how much more stable these skinny blocks are when they're rubber banded together!
 Experimenting with how to band two objects together:
 This (according to its creator) is a notebook and pen (or maybe it was a blush compact?  Sorry, there was so many creative ideas floating around that day, that I can't remember exactly!).
 Even her baby brother got into the action!
 One of my examples at the beginning of class was just talking about how some rubberbands can stretch farther than others (or are just bigger to begin with).  There was a lot of this action in class:
Geoboards were fun!

The large rubber bands were great for large motor practice.

They're also fun to wear...

 and also wiggle in a fun way!
and make a good jump rope
 And this jumping cup project, although it needed a lot of adult-hands-on help, was quite entertaining!

 One of the grown-ups figured out how to make "jumping buckets"!

Other activities that I hadn't specifically planned, but which were nonetheless enjoyed included pouring rubber bands from cups to buckets and back again:
 And cutting rubber bands with scissors:

Hindsight Tip: 
--If I did this again, I'd recommend just pre-building about 6 of the jumping cups so that kids can play with them instead of waiting for their parents to make them.

 Variations to try: 
Other fun rubber band projects to try here, here are some instruments, an activity involving doorknobs (the ones at the library are the wrong shape), rubber band painting, and rubber band stamping.

Related Apps: The free Geoboard app from the Math Learning Center is still my favorite app for this project!

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