Science for Kids: Exploring Sound with a Hanger and String

Here’s a fun science activity for kids using common household items. Grab some string and a hanger and explore sound!

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Science for Kids: Exploring Sound with a Hanger~


Welcome to another Science Invitation Saturday where we explore science for kids! Last week we discovered what was inside a seed. This week we are doing an experiment with sound. (This post contains affiliate links.)

Materials for Sound Experiment

Procedure for Sound Experiment

  1. Tie the hook of a wire hanger to the center of a large piece of string. (About 3 feet long)
  2. Wrap the ends of the string around your index fingers.
  3. Now put your hands over the openings of your ears while holding the string.
  4. Lean over and swing the hanger so that it taps against a table or door. What do you hear?

Lucy’s Observations & Comments: “It sounds like a bell!” “The hanger got the noise and it went through the hanger and through the string to my ears.”




Question to Spark More Curiosity & Critical Thinking:

How did it sound? Does banging the hanger against the table sound different if you don’t put the string to your ears? How? How do you think the sound gets to your ears?


What’s Going On:

Sound waves are created by the vibration of an object (the wire hanger and string).  When vibrations hit your ear drum, your brain interprets the vibrations as sound. The sound waves can travel through air, liquids and solids. When we listen to the hanger hit the table with the string to our ears, the sound waves are traveling through the solid string and hanger. Since sound waves travel more quickly through solids, we hear the sound more clearly. When we bang the hanger without putting the string to our ears, the sound waves are traveling through air to get to our ears making the sound more quiet.


Check out this awesome video showing how sound travels! 


Want to go even further?

Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages: 

    • Try varying the length of the string. Does it affect the sound you hear?
    • Try attaching other objects to the string and testing them out. 
    • Make your own wind chime to hang outside!
    • Make some homemade musical instruments

Fizz, Pop, Bang! 40 Playful Science and Math Activities for Kids

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  1. What a neat idea!! We will have to try this. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!
    Carrie recently posted…Fairy Tales in Different Cultures–The Salmon PrincessMy Profile

  2. That’s a fun experiment.

    Thanks for sharing on The Sunday Showcase. I’ve pinned to our board.
    Rebecca recently posted…Does your child have ADHD?My Profile

  3. I put the video on my kids school to do list. We just studied the ear and I really enjoyed this explanation. – Thanks
    Julie recently posted…Hobbies and Handicrafts – April 19My Profile

  4. This is such a neat demonstration. I featured this post at the After School Link up. Thanks for sharing!
    Kelly at Little Wonders’ Days recently posted…After School Link UpMy Profile

  5. What a great experiment!! Thanks for sharing your post with us! I hope you join us again today (yeah I know it’s a day late… linky issues) at Eco-Kids Tuesday!!
    Hannah recently posted…Wonderfull WednesdayMy Profile

  6. I”m saving this for our auditory unit next year. One of the coolest exhibits at a local museum is the one that lets you “see” the sound waves as they make a nearby ribbon move.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!
    Ticia recently posted…Travel GamesMy Profile

  7. Visiting from the Sunday Showcase. I’d love for you to share your family-friendly crafts and ideas at Monday Kid Corner at See you at the party!

    Jennifer recently posted…Monday Kid Corner Round Up #18My Profile


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