Make a Paper Cup Phone



My kids love science experiments.  I can’t even begin to count how many ways we’ve played with vinegar and baking soda….  This week we made paper cup phones, something I remember doing as a child.


How to make a paper cup phone -- fun kids science experiment!



Materials needed for string and cup phones:

  • 2 paper cups
  • Length of string (we used yarn)
  • Pencil
  • 2 Paper clips (optional)


To make your own paper cup phones, use the tip of a pencil to poke a small hole at the bottom of each of your two cups.

Next, thread the string through the hole of one cup.  We just tied a knot in the yarn on the inside of the cup to keep it in place.  If the string keeps slipping through the hole you can tie it to a paper clip to help keep it in place.

Pull the string through the bottom of your second cup, securing it with an knot on the inside, too.  (See photo above.)

To use your phones the string must be kept taut.  When one person whispers in their cup, the other should be able to hear their voice through their own cup.

My daughter was thrilled to hear my voice being whispered in her ear from over 20 feet away!

directions for a paper cup and string phone



Why does it work?

Sound waves can travel through air, solids, and liquids.

When you speak into the cup, the vibrations are transmitted into the string.  They continue to travel through the string, as long as it is held taut, to the receiving cup.  There the vibrations are transmitted to the air in the cup, around the listener’s ear, allowing the whisper to be heard.

Because the cup and string are solid, and solids actually carry sound waves better than air, the whisper can be heard much clearer than if you were to just whisper into the air from that distance.


Looking for more science fun to share with the kids?  Check out our other science experiments!

Activities for Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!


Do you have a Dr. Seuss fan at home?   Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! By Dr. Seuss is perfect for beginning readers.  The large print on each page, along with lots of repetition, makes this Seuss book a great fit for my kindergartner and first grader.  They were so proud when they were able to read it on their own, that we just had to do a few activities to go with Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now.  

activities to go with Dr. Seuss book Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now


After reading through the book a few times (you just can’t read a Dr. Seuss book once!), we talked about all the ways you could move.

Then we tried out a few moves of our own!

We tried to go like crabs by doing the crab walk.  We tried going like babies and crawling.  We tried going fast; we tried going slow.

activity for Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now


We had lots of fun coming up with crazy, silly ways we could go.

Then it was time for a Seuss craft!

To go with the picture on the book’s cover, we traced our hands while pointing.  Then we wrote different ways to say “go” on our hands (“exit,” “leave,” “move”…).    For extra fun we taped them to a few paint stirring sticks I had on hand to make our own signs.

craft for Dr. Seuss book Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now



Looking for more Dr. Seuss fun?  Check out some of our previous posts!


Rainbow Treasure Hunt



It has been a long time since we have played with our colored rice.  This week my daughter pulled out all the colors we had. When she realized we almost had a complete rainbow of colors, she asked if we could put them all together, and our rainbow treasure hunt sensory bin was formed!


Rainbow Treasure Hunt -- great for St. Patrick's Day or any day!


To make our bin, I pulled out the large under the bed storage container I keep for sensory play.

My daughter helped to carefully pour each color into the bin.  (We had a lot of the red, white, and pink mix from our candy cane rice!)

rainbow rice sensory bin


Once all the colored rice was in the bin, she hunted out some LEGO Friends, along with a small treasure chest and pieces of “gold.”

We scattered some of the treasure on top, and I hid some under the rice for her to hunt for.

rainbow rice sensory play


For an extra touch of magic, I sprinkled a bit of glitter across the rice before she went on her treasure hunt.


She had lots of fun discovering all the hidden treasure, and I had lots of fun creating a sensory bin with my daughter’s help.


If you liked this, check out our other sensory play ideas!

Water Beads in Snow


With snow on the ground and super low temperatures, we have been busy with all kinds of indoor snow activities. This week we have painted snow and even did our spelling in the snow!  One thing I had really been wanting to try was water beads in the snow, and I have to say it was a huge hit!

fun sensory play with water beads in the snow



To start with, I got out our largest sensory tub (a large, under the bed storage container) and put a couple inches of clean, white snow at the bottom.

Then I scattered a several handfuls of colorful water beads across the snow’s top.

fun winter sensory play: water beads in snow



Tip for messy sensory play:   I like to place a plastic sheet under any sensory bin containing water (or in this case snow).  I also always put several towels within hand’s reach that the kids can use to wipe up spills.  It really helps contain the mess to a minimum!


They could not wait to get started!

I purposely didn’t get anything else out to add to the sensory bin; I wanted to see what they would do on their own.

Before I knew it, they had out spoons, bowls, and salad tongs.

I loved watching them scoop up the water beads using the tongs!  (Great for increasing hand strength and coordination needed for writing skills.)

playing with water beads in snow



The water beads were so bright and colorful against the white snow, and such a different texture.  I wondered what would happen to the water beads in snow, and was happy to see they retained their unique, slippery, slightly squishy feel.

My 5 and 7 year-old played with the water beads and snow for over an hour.  That’s what I call a hit!