Exploring the concept of sound waves with kids can be a fun and interactive experience. Here’s a simple and engaging activity to help kids understand the basics of sound waves:

Activity: Making a String Telephone

Objective: Demonstrate how sound travels through vibrations and air to create sound waves.


  1. Two plastic or paper cups
  2. String (about 10 feet or 3 meters)
  3. A sharp pencil or nail
  4. Scissors


  1. Poke Holes:
    • Use the sharp pencil or nail to poke a small hole at the bottom center of each cup.
  2. Thread the String:
    • Cut a piece of string that is about 10 feet (3 meters) long.
    • Thread one end of the string through the hole in the bottom of one cup. Tie a knot inside the cup to secure it.
    • Repeat the process with the other cup.
  3. Create Tension:
    • Hold one cup to your ear and have a friend hold the other cup to their ear. Make sure the string is taut.
    • Ensure that the cups are not touching anything that might dampen the vibrations.
  4. Talk and Listen:
    • Stand apart from each other, stretching the string.
    • Have one person speak into their cup while the other person listens through their cup.


  • When the person talks into their cup, their voice creates vibrations in the cup’s bottom.
  • These vibrations travel along the string, acting like a bridge for the sound waves.
  • The cup at the other end of the string receives the vibrations, and when held to the ear, the person can hear the sound.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What happened when you talked into the cup?
  2. How did the sound travel from one cup to the other?
  3. What do you think would happen if the string was loose instead of tight?


  • Experiment with different materials for the string. Does the type of string affect the sound?
  • Try making the string longer or shorter. How does it impact the transmission of sound?

This hands-on activity helps kids visualize how vibrations create sound waves that can travel through a medium, in this case, a taut string. It’s a simple yet effective way to introduce the concept of sound waves in a playful manner.

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