Cymatics for Kids: A Sound Waves Lesson Plan

by Jodina Meehan on November 25, 2009

cymatics image: salt on metal

cymatics image: salt on metal

If you are a teacher or parent and would like to introduce kids to cymatics and the physics of sound, there are two simple cymatics projects that you can do with kids quickly and easily: “Cymatics In A Glass” and “Build Your Own Tonascope.”

“Cymatics In A Glass” is a very simple way to demonstrate the effects of sound waves for kids. It creates a very cool “vortex” inside a wine glass, in under a minute!

Here’s how to do your first cymatics experiment to demonstrate the physics of sound:

1. Get a wine glass, some food color (darker colors like red or blue work best), and some table salt.

2. Fill the wine glass with water about 2/3 full.

3. Sprinkle some salt into the bottom of the wineglass (about 1/4 tsp).

4. Drop about 5 drops of food coloring right into the center of the water. (Don’t disturb the glass or stir).

5. Holding the stem of the wineglass, with it sitting firmly on the table, wet your finger and run it continuously around the rim of the wineglass (you’ve probably done this before when you were a kid) until the glass is ’singing.’ Keep doing this – going around in a circle, in the SAME direction.

6. Watch the ‘vortex’ form inside the glass! You will also see, if you observe closely, some cymatics patterns radiating inward from the sides of the glass, on the surface of the water.

“Build Your Own Tonascope” is also a very simple cymatics experiment you can do to demonstrate sound waves for kids, letting them use the sound vibrations of their own voices to create amazing cymatics images. Whether you are a student, teacher or parent interested in cymatics, you can learn how to make a tonoscope in under 10 minutes using 3 common hardware-store items now by downloading my step-by-step video instructions…

Click here to download your free step-by-step video instructions for “How To Make A Cymatic Sounder” now.

You can use these instructions in a cymatics lesson plan for your students, or try them at home. Either way, it’s a great way to start learning about sound waves and cymatics, hands-on!


{ 2 trackbacks }

DIY Cymatics Tips & Tricks for Playing a Plate | Journal of Cymatics
December 5, 2009 at 11:56 am
Nine-Year-Old Cymatics Student Wins First Place For Vibration Experiments | Journal of Cymatics
March 14, 2010 at 11:15 am

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

siv November 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Hi Jodina
How are you ?
I would like to ask you if you have for sale any Cymatic “Instruments” visualizing sound ?

The very best of thoughts and wishes and thanks from



Jodina Meehan Reply:

Hi! Yes, I do – just released! It’s a cymatic violin – you can read all
about it, see a picture and order it here if you like:



ora exacta October 5, 2015 at 9:36 am

Am aflat aceasta pagina, dupa ce am cautat despre Cymatics for Kids:
A Sound Waves Lesson Plan pe Google. Se pare ca informatia dvs e foarte
valoroasa, mai ales ca am mai gasit aici si despre cymatic, ora exacta, lucruri interesante si folositoare.
Mult succes in continuare!



Meciuri Live May 18, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Excellent way of telling, and good piece of writing to obtain data regarding
my presentation subject matter, which i
am going to convey in college.



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