Simple Telephone

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Learning Framework?

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Social

Endorsed by


  • Physical - Threading the string to cup, object control (holding the cup)
  • Intellectual - Exploring how soundwave move
  • Emotional - Engagement (interaction), sharing feelings through talking
  • Social - Being able to relate and continue a conversation, build and encourage one another to talk

Step back in time and use some old-fashioned technology to make a string phone while learning about sound waves in this fun project with your child.
Skill Level
Suitable for
4-5 years old
Estimated time
15 - 30 mins

What You Will Need

  • Thumbtack (to help poke holes in the paper cup)
  • 2x Paper Cups
  • String

Step 1


Gather the materials.

Step 2


Make a hole at the bottom of each paper cup using the thumbtack.

Step 3


Put the string through the hole.

Step 4


Tie a knot so that the string doesn’t come out from the cup.

Step 5


The simple telephone is ready to use. Move into position with you at one end and your child holding the cup at a distance, making sure that the
string is tight. Make sure the string isn’t touching anything else as well. One person talks into the cup while the other puts the cup to their ear and listens.
Reminder: You have to keep the string straight for best listening quality.

Ask the Kids

Can you hear each other?

“How does sound travel?

Can you feel the vibration on the yarn as you speak?

What happens when you wind the yarn around your finger or a leg of a chair or table?

If you like, share what your kids answered in the comments below