Today we share science experiments to help kids “see” sound. This can be part of the curriculum for the 5 senses or physics. We hear all different kinds of sounds every day. But have you explored sounds with your kids? How is sound generated? Why there are so many different sounds? Many people know sound is certain types of waves. But how to explain the concept to kids? These science activities visualize sound waves for kids to “see” the sound. They can be built in units for sound and light, the hearing part of the 5 senses, and any music class.
7 Ways to Help Kids “See” the Sound
Where is sound coming from? How is sound generated? You can do a simple activity to show it to kids. Put a plastic ruler on top of a table, leaving half of the ruler out of the edge of the table. Put a heavy book on top of the part that is on the table. Now quickly push down the end of the ruler that is outside of table edge, and let it go. You will see the ruler quickly swing up and down. Do you hear something? Try move the ruler in or out of the table, so the length sticking out is different. Try to hear the differences in the sound when the length changes.
Another way to show sound to kids is using strings and hangers.
Have you tried music with wine glasses? I love the idea of having two glasses and watching the toothpick moving. It further reinforces the idea that sound is generated with and travel through waves.
A fun extension of the glass experiment is this glow stick xylophone. Have several glasses and fill them with different amount of water, you now have a home-made xylophone. When it is added with glow sticks, it is simply amazing. Make sure to pick small or short glow sticks, so it is easier to fit in the glasses.
The Balloon Amplifier is a fun way to show kids the factor that impact the sound intensity. Make sure to ask kids to hear the sound when they are not holding the balloon next to their ears.
Will louder sound create bigger waves? This sound experiment will show kids with some visual effects. All you need is an empty bowl, a thin plastic film, a rubber band, and some colored sugar crystal.
This cool sound activity is also a good way to demonstrate the relationship between sound and wave, and answer the question will louder sound create bigger waves?
If you are looking for more sound related materials, the free app Sound Discovered is a fun one to check out.