Rainbow Xylophone

With this activity, you’ll test your math and music skills to build your very own instrument. With only four materials, you can play your favorite songs and perform a concert for family and friends!

What you’ll need:

  • Food coloring
  • Glass cups, 6 that are equal in size
  • Water
  • Metal spoon


Fill glasses with the water levels outlined below. Add the specified drops of food coloring to each to create a rainbow xylophone. Experiment with different musical pitches and try to recreate your favorite songs!

1st cup: 1/4 cup water and 1-2 drops red food color

2nd cup: 1/2 cup water and 1 drop red, 1 drop yellow food color (making orange)

3rd cup: 3/4 cup water and 3 drops of yellow food color

4th cup: 1 cup water and 4 drops green food color

5th cup: 1 1/4 cup water and 5 drops blue food color

6th cup: 1 1/2 cup water and 3 drops blue, 3 drops red food color (making purple)

Inspired by Laughing Kids Learn’s Musical Math.

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Find additional science and math activities from Camp Little Victors.