Silverware Sound Science: Discovery at Home

What you need:

  • Metal silverware.
  • Yarn.


  1. Tie the yarn to the metal silverware so it can hang from the center of the yarn.
  2. Wrap each end of the yarn to each of your index fingers.
  3. Stick the yarn that is wrapped around your fingers into your ears.
  4. Swing the metal silverware against a table. This creates a vibration that travels up the yarn to your ears.
  5. Listen to what it sounds like when the silverware pieces collide.
  6. You can hear the sound waves!

Ways to Expand the Activity:

  • Use other materials. What happens if you use a different type of yarn or string? Does it travel the same way? What if you have a friend tap the metal silverware with different metal silverware? Is it different?
  • When swimming or playing in the bath, clink together two pieces of metal silverware underwater and listen with one or both ears under water. What does it sound like? Is it different than when the materials were not under water?

What Kids Learn:

  • Sound waves. Sounds waves are made up of vibrations that travel through the air, water and objects. The sound waves that reach our ears make our eardrums vibrate. Exploring the vibrations that are sound waves through hands-on activities help create a better understanding of how sound waves travel.