String Phone

By | January 5, 2014

String Phone
Did you ever play with string phones as a kid?  We did, however I remember making them out of paper cups at the time.  My sister reminded me of this project the other day when she was telling me how her and a fellow teacher made some string phones to talk between their classes.  As soon as she told me the story I knew I had to make these with my girls.

Since my sister is a Science teacher at a High School, she told me that the Physics teacher told her that the phones would work better if made out of tin cans.  So I decided that is what we would make ours out of.  The tin can phones are also much studier than the paper cups so with my wild children they are sure to hold up a LOT longer.

I let each girl pick a color to paint their can so that they knew which was which (don’t ask me why that matters but with my children it does).  After the paint dried I attached the string and let the girls talk on their new phones.  They both thought it was pretty cool that they could hear each other from so far away.  My hubs and I both had to use them too, because it is just too fun not too!

As far as the Science lesson, I told the girls about sound waves and how their voices travel along the string to the other can so that the person with the other can can hear them.  We also tried it with the string very loose to see if it would work and it did not, so then we talked about how the sound travels on the string and if it is not tight the sound can fall off.  Okay that may not totally be the science way of it but for a 2 and 6 year old they understood it better that way.

What is happening with this experiment?
When you speak into the can you create a Sound Wave, which is then converted into a vibration that travels along the string and then converted back to a  Sound Wave in the other can.  This experiment can be done with paper cups, however the tin cans are better conductors and you can usually have better sound by using them, they also hold up better over time so you can continue to use your phones.

Supplies

2 Tin Cans (cleaned soup or veggie can work great)
Paint
Hemp String (cut to desired size)
Hammer and Nail

Directions

String Phone String PhoneStart by painting each of your cans.  Okay this is optional but they sure look prettier when painted!

String PhoneUse your Hammer and Nail to make a hole in the bottom of each can.String PhonePut your hemp string through the bottom of each can.
NOTE: You can make the string as long as you like.String PhoneTie a knot in the string to keep it from falling out of the can.

String PhoneHave one child talk into one end of the canString PhoneLet the other child Listen with the other can.
NOTE: To work the string needs to be pulled tight so the sound vibrations can travel from one can to the other.

String PhoneNot only will your kids know about sound waves now, but they will have hours of fun talking in their new phones!

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26 thoughts on “String Phone

  1. Bonnie a.k.a. LadyBlogger

    I LOVE that you did this with your cute girls and let them pick a paint color for their can. I have pinned this to my “children” board on Pinterest. GREAT post! And your kiddos are absolutely adorable!

    Reply
    1. wemadethat Post author

      Thanks so much!! We really had fun with this and it brought back so many fun memories from my childhood too!

      Reply
  2. April

    Love it! I’ll be saving this for spring break! I’ll have to find a week of activities to do! Thanks for sharing and linking up with Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to come back on Friday to see if you were featured!

    ~~April~~
    100lbCountdown.com

    Reply
  3. Brittnei

    I remember learning about this in school and I believe we just hooked the strings up to the cans and talked about what was happening. I love how you made even more of a craft out of it. I’m going to pin it to remember to do this with the kids later! Thanks for sharing with us at Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to stop by to see if you are featured on Friday! xo

    Reply
    1. wemadethat Post author

      Thanks so much for hosting! And when we made them as kids we did the same thing just hooked them up to the string, I thought it would be a little more fun to paint them and the girls had fun doing it!

      Reply
  4. Meg @ Lip Gloss and Lumber

    Hi, I saw this at Inspiration Monday. What a fun idea, I totally remember doing this as a kid. I totally get letting the kids pick a color so they which can is “theirs”, my two girls are the same way. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Reply
    1. wemadethat Post author

      LOL, I am glad my girls are not the only ones like that! Thanks so much for stopping by and I am glad I got to take you down memory lane!

      Reply
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  6. Jill F.

    Oh my! I remember playing tin can phone growing up!! Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories. I never thought about the science behind it, but then again, what kid does??? Thanks for joining the Thumping Thursday bloghop.

    Reply
  7. Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

    I haven’t thought about string phones in a bazillion years but the minute I saw your post I knew that my granddaughter and her best friend would have so much fun doing this. I have both of them every Wednesday due to early out at school and I am always looking for projects for them to do. Thanks for sharing on the Four Seasons Blog Hop.

    Reply
  8. Natasha @ Epic Mommy Adventures

    I’ve always wondered if this really works, but never had the opportunity to try it as a child. Such a great experiment to do with your girls! Hope they had tons of fun!

    Thanks so much for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday! We love having you! :)

    Reply
  9. susan

    Making science fun and pretty! – what a great idea. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday at Organized 31.

    Reply
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  11. Mary Catherine

    I remember trying this when I was a kid! I love the idea of trying it again with my son. :) I’m featuring you at this week’s Share It Saturday!

    Reply
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    1. wemadethat Post author

      Hi Mandy, No it can be any string or yarn you have around the house. I had the hemp so I just used that. We have done these before with yarn and they worked just as great!

      Reply
      1. Mandy

        Thanks! Echoing the other comments, I love the painted cans – my kids will take any excuse to paint :)

        Reply
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