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for Curious Kids & Their Grown-Ups

Experiment: Simple Sound Waves (Camp WeWow Edition)

Did you know that when a noise is made, it creates invisible sound waves that travel through the air and into our ears? Well it does! This super simple sound wave experiment (say that 10x fast!) is a great way to explore how sound travels.


  • a ruler
  • 4 feet of yarn or string
  • a metal spoon (or fork)



Step 1: Measure 4 feet of yarn.

Step 2: Create a loop in the center of your yarn and insert the handle of the spoon into the loop.

Step 3: Tighten the yarn around the spoon handle, so that the spoon hangs down and you have two equal pieces of yarn dangling from each side of the spoon.

Step 4: Now take the two ends separately in each of your hands and wrap them around your pointer fingers.

Step 5: Press your string wrapped fingers over the opening of your ears with the spoon hanging down below.

Step 6: Now for the fun part! Have someone GENTLY tap the ruler against the round part of the spoon. The person holding the spoon will hear a lovely sound.

What in the WOW is happening?  Tapping the spoon or fork will cause it to vibrate, and those vibrations will make sound waves. The yarn then acts as a conductor, allowing the sound waves to travel up the yarn, instead of just spreading around in the surrounding air.

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