Busy with Bugs | Buzzing Bee Noise Maker

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It’s Bugs Month at Kiwi Crate, and I knew this project would be a big hit with our Kid Testing Crew. Preschool kids will definitely need some grown-up assistance getting started, but kids of all ages (and grown-ups!) can’t resist playing with this very noisy buzzing bee! It’s not just a toy, though – it’s also a fun way for kids to explore how vibrations create sound.

You’ll need:

  • scissors
  • index card (or other stiff paper)
  • jumbo craft stick
  • sticky-back foam
  • wide rubber band
  • yarn or twine (about a yard)
  • markers
  • googly eyes (optional, but everything is better with googly eyes)

Start by cutting the index card into a square a couple inches shorter than the craft stick.

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Now it’s time to decorate your bee. We went for black and yellow stripes with googly eyes, but feel free to decorate however you like.

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When you’re happy with your bee, flip it over so it’s face-down on the table. Cut a long, thin strip of sticky foam and use that to attach the card to the stick.

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Now cut four squares of the craft foam, sized so they fit over the end of the craft stick. Tape two squares onto both ends of the craft stick.

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Tie the yarn onto one side of the craft stick – the sticky foam will hold it in place while the bee spins.

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Finally, stretch the rubber band over the craft stick, making sure it’s not twisted. We tested several, and discovered that the rubber band needs to be really tight around the stick. It’s also important that the rubber band is wider than it is thick – narrow rubber bands won’t buzz.

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Finally, it’s time to play. To make your bee buzz, hold the yarn and spin over your head – fast! It takes a little practice to get the bee going without bopping yourself on the head. Once you’ve got the hang of it, try experimenting with the speed of the spin. Spinning faster makes the pitch of the buzz higher. (If you’re not getting a good loud buzz, try a smaller rubber band – it need to be really, really tight around the craft stick.)

Why does it work? The buzz is the sound of the rubber band vibrating against the craft stick. The faster you spin the bee, the faster the vibration, and the higher the pitch.

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Have fun with your flying, buzzing bee!

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About ryan

I'm mom to two funny, silly, noisy boys (age 3 and 6) who are mostly best friends and occasionally worst enemies. I love doing all sorts of creative activities with my kids, but I'm especially enthusiastic about kid-friendly science experiments - the messier, the better!
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