Stomp It

Stomp It

August 23, 2018

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever used as an instrument? Anything from a mop to a toaster to a toilet seat can become an instrument. If you shake it, click it, or bang it against some other object, you can make some crazy sounds. That’s the whole idea behind the show “Stomp, ” which started in New York. The actors/dancers/musicians play some of the weirdest instruments you’ve seen. They swish brooms, they smash together trash-can covers, they bang spoons around the inside of kitchen sinks that they strap to themselves. And all the musicians play different rhythms from each other — they’re doing math, in a sense — so it sounds really cool. If you’re looking for ways to make more noise at your house, Stomp could give you some ideas.

Wee ones: Find 3 things in your room that you can tap like a drum with your hand. Which one sounds the loudest?

Little kids: If you grab 2 baseball bats and your friend grabs 4 trash cans, how many pieces does your new drum set have?  Bonus: If you find 3 push brooms and now you have a total of 8, how many brooms did you start with?

Big kids: If in a band of 20 people, 1/2 the kids play kitchen sinks while 1/2 of the kids left play mops, how many are playing mops?  Bonus: If instead you give out 16 forks and 10 spoons to your 20-person band, what’s the biggest number of people who get only one or the other?

The sky’s the limit: Make a new Stomp “band” of 15 people. 1/3 of them swish brooms on every beat except the 5th (1, 2, 3, 4, (hold), 6, 7…). 1/3 play spatulas on every beat except the 4th (1, 2, 3, (hold), 5, 6,7, (hold), 9, 10…). And the last 1/3 play all the even beats (2, 4, 6…). How many people play the 50th beat of the song?











Wee ones: Different for everyone…you might play a wastepaper can, a book, or the side of the door!

Little kids: 6 pieces.  Bonus: 5 brooms.

Big kids: 5 mop players.  Bonus: 14 people. If every person who doesn’t get a fork (4 people) gets a spoon, then the last 6 spoons have to go to 6 of the 16 people who got forks. That leaves 10 more people who got just forks.

The sky’s the limit: 10 people. Only the ones who skip the 5th beat don’t play on 50.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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