Musical coat hangers

Try out an amazing trick with a coat hanger and some string, and think about the science of sound.

Small boy looking amazed at a science experiment while a photographer is capturing the moment in the background
Musical coat hanger video being made, Image credit: The Royal Institution


Make a surprising sound device from a coat hanger.

ExpeRiment to see what sort of things affect the sounds you hear.

Learn about how sounds are made and how sound travels differently through different materials.

About this activity

Petra Boynton and her son Adam try out this simple but incredible science experiment at home. With just some string, a coat hanger and other objects around the house, this amazing science activity is a great way to introduce the basic science of sound to children. Adam is impressed by the different noises he hears when sound travels through a solid compared to the air. This is a fun, free thing to do with kids that will help them learn while they play. It introduces the idea of variables – how changing one thing affects another, and encourages children to explore, investigate and question the world around them.