How to Make a Stethoscope for Kids' Play

    by Debbie Lamb

    About the Author

    Debbie Lamb has been writing art improvement articles since 2004. Her articles have appeared in the "Times Dispatch," and in online publications. Lamb began as a reporter for the Future Farmers of America. She received the grand champion award of arts in Lawrence County in 2008. She holds an Associate of Arts degree with honors in journalism from Black River College.


    Kids are curious about how their bodies work, and a stethoscope can help give them a little insight into the workings of their hearts. A stethoscope allows them to hear their heart pumping blood, providing you with an opportunity to slip in a little lesson on what all that pumping is about. Fortunately, you don't have to buy an expensive medical stethoscope; you can help kids build their very own working stethoscope at home.

    Things You'll Need

    • 2 small funnels (3/8-inch spout)
    • Flexible plastic tubing (1/2-inch diameter)
    • Balloon
    • Tape
    • Rubber band

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    Cut a piece of 1/2-inch flexible tubing 12 inches long. The tubing is used to carry vibration from one funnel to the other.

    Stretch a balloon tight over the wide end of one funnel. Roll up any excess balloon edge. Use a rubber band to help hold the balloon in place.

    Firmly push one end of the tubing over the spout end of the funnel that has the balloon on it. Cover at least 1/2-inch of the spout end with the tubing. Tape the tubing to the funnel.

    Make the earpiece by firmly pushing the opposite end of the tubing onto the spout end of the other funnel. Cover at least 1/2-inch of the spout end with the tubing and tape the tubing to the funnel.

    Place the open funnel near your child’s ear. Place the funnel with the balloon over your heart and ask your child if she hears a thumping noise. The beating heart makes vibrations, which makes the balloon vibrate. The vibrations travel through the tubing and amplify in the funnel as “thump" sounds. Help your child to listen his own heart.

    • Ask your child to listen for differences in heart sound and speed after they have exercised.
    • In addition to the stethoscope, let your child wear an adult-size, white button-up shirt for doctor pretend play.