The Science of Sound for Kids
I remember learning about sound waves in middle school science, and the teacher using a slinky to demonstrate how the waves would travel from one side of the room to the other. Our ALEX Toys Talking Tubes were the perfect way to give the kids a little demonstration in how sound waves travel this week! As a blogger for ALEX Toys, I get to select a few of their products each month, and picked the Talking Tubes because I knew that they would be perfect for our experiment, not to mention hours of entertainment!
In this glorified version of two tin cans on a string, the sound waves travel through plastic tubing instead of along the string – making for a much better sound on both ends! Having the sound waves isolated in this way was a great way for my kids to understand that sound travels along a trajectory, rather than simple flying about randomly. It was also a neat little mini-lesson on sound isolation – the limited opening in the play phone means that it picks up the sounds that are closest to it (your own voice, normally) and cuts out most background noise.
We followed up by plucking a few strings on the guitar, which provides a great visualization of sound waves traveling. Then we tightened up the strings so that they can learn that higher tension creates faster (and narrower) vibrations, leading to higher pitch. When they are a little older, we’ll repeat this experiment and follow up with this excellent video from the brilliant Vihart (if you haven’t seen her Youtube channel, check it out!)
What science experiments have you been doing lately? Have you ever made your own talking tubes? Would your kids recognize the plastic ends on these talking tubes as telephones? My kids only did because they have seen this style of telephones in a couple of movies we have watched with them!
I blog for ALEX Toys and receive products from them to review. All opinions are my own.