Making a String Phone - The Forgotten Toy Shop

Making a String Phone

One thing I remember doing as a child was making string phones with my friends. They were so much fun and could never work out how they managed to get the sound from one cup to the other along the string. Obviously now a days phones are all cordless so the very thought of something having string or cord to make it work is alien to the young generation.

So on this wet miserable Monday I decided to show Zach how to make a string phone.


What you need:

  • 2 empty paper cups or if you have 2 empty tin cans (that was the original choice for them back in the day).
  • A ball of string
  • Scissors
  • A pencil or a hammer and nail if using tin cans

 First of all if you are using tin cans, make sure they are clean and dry and have no sharp edges. Then make a hole in the base of each cup / tin can (best to get an adult to do this especially for the tin cans).


Next, cut a length of string to which ever length you want your string phone to reach. Then take the string and thread through one of the cups and tie a knot to secure. Thread the other end of the string through the other cup and tie a knot to secure.


And there you have it. One string phone made.

To use this string phone you simply have one cup each, making sure the string is taught all the time when using. One person talks and the other can here them through the cup.

So how does this work? Well basically when you talk into the cup/tin can, your voice vibrates around it and this then sends the vibrations down the string. Our ears send these sound vibrations to our brain and this translates it and we hear the sound.

I have to say Zach was not too sure about it, but I had plenty of fun!

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