Megaphone magic

Experiment with the mega-fun of megaphones.

You'll Need

  • Plastic gallon jug
  • large rubber band
  • scissors

Learning Stages

Use this activity to explore properties of sound with your child. Ask her to think about why, when you cup your hands around your mouth to shout, your voice is louder and can be heard farther away. Follow the directions below to create a megaphone with your child:

  1. Place a rubber band around the middle of a plastic jug.
  2. Using the rubber band as your guide, cut the plastic jug in half. Keep the top half with the handle and the opening, and discard the other half.
  3. Speak in a normal voice to someone across the room. Then, in the same normal voice, speak through your jug megaphone. Is there a difference?

Talk with your child about what happened. Cupping your hands around your mouth, when speaking through the megaphone, your voice is louder and can be heard farther away. Explain to your child that sound travels in waves in all directions, and these waves get weaker the farther out they go. The megaphone aims the sound waves of your voice in one direction. These sound waves have lost less energy and sound louder when they arrive.