Sound

These free kids experiments are simple and can be performed with general household items.
Musical Drinking Straws

Musical Straws

Be a science musician and make your own instruments from drinking straws

Buzzing Balloon

Make a balloon buzz like a bee, using a hex nut or a 50 cent piece
  1. Buzzing Balloon

    Buzzing Balloon

    Learning Objectives:

    • To understand that the flower is the reproductive centre of the plant.
    • To identify the key parts of the flower involved in reproduction.

     

    What You Need:

    • A Balloon
    • A Hex Nut or a 50 Cent Piece 

    What to do:

    • Place the hexanut (or 50 cent piece) inside the balloon, inflate it and tie it off.
    • Hold the balloon as shown and move it around in a circular motion by rotating your wrist. The hexanut should spin around the inside of the balloon and create a strange buzzing sound. 

    Why is it so?

    As the hexanut moves around and rubs against the sides of the balloon, it causes the balloon to vibrate, which in turn causes the air both inside and outside the balloon to vibrate. The balloon acts as a ‘resonator’, or natural amplifier, of the sound.

     

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  2. Musical Drinking Straws

    Musical Drinking Straws

    Learning Objectives:

    • To understand that the flower is the reproductive centre of the plant.
    • To identify the key parts of the flower involved in reproduction.

     

    What You Need:

    • Straight drinking straws

    What to do:

    • Press the end of a plastic drinking straw flat and cut two triangular shapes off each side to make a pointy end.
    • Flatten this end some more, then seal your lips around the point, and blow. You will hear a squawky whistle, and the whole straw will vibrate. It's a bit tricky at first, so don't rush or blow too hard.
    Variations
    Once you have mastered the simple whistle, you can try these variations.
    1. As you are blowing, use scissors to progressively cut the end shorter and shorter, and listen to the change in the pitch of the sound.
    2. Cut tiny holes into one
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