Back to School :Whisper Phones | Tuesdays with Jacob

Back to School :Whisper Phones

August 7, 2011
Whisper Phones, homemade toobaloos, are made using inexpensive materials from your local hardware store. At 5 dollars a piece toobaloos are expensive, but you can easily make them! Here's what you need:

1/2 inch elbow pvc pieces (2 for each phone) $2 for a bag of 5

1/2 pvc pipe cut into 4 inch pieces (as many pieces as phones you want) $2
PVC glue $4

Fusion for Plastic Spray Paint (color of choice) $4

Home Depot will cut the pipe into pieces for you. Now learn from my experience - I went into Home Depot super excited to get the supplies and make a set of these for my reading groups. I found all the pieces right away (pat on the back) and set out to find an employee to help me. The first one I found said he could cut it and asked how I wanted it cut. I said into 4 inch pieces and he laughed at me and said they can't make precise cuts. I told him again I wanted it in 4 inch pieces and that I know from other teachers that they can do that. He again laughed at me and said he could cut it in half to fit in my car, but I would have to make the other cuts at home. Did I mention he LAUGHED at me? Who does that?

At this I was extremely upset because A) I was mad he was being lazy and wouldn't cut it, since other teachers have gotten theirs cut B) I was embarrassed because he laughed at me in front of my husband and other customers and C)I was sad because I had no way to cut it at home and thought my project wasn't going to happen. With tears in my eyes I headed to the check out praying that one of our neighbors might have a saw we could borrow.

It was at this point that a friend of ours, also an associate, came over and asked what was wrong. I told him the story and he told me he could cut the pipe however I wanted. He got out a tape measure and a pipe cutter and cut the whole thing into 4 inch pieces. BRAVO BLAINE! So the moral of this story is if someone won't cut it for you, find someone who will, or complain to management and they will find someone for you because they definitely CAN cut the pipe.

When you get home here's what you do:

1. Apply a thin coat of PVC glue to the inside of an elbow.
2. Then coat the end of a pipe and stick it in.

3. Coat the other end and the inside of a second elbow and push it on.

4. You should have a phone shape. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

Allow 15 minutes to dry and then get out your spray paint. It's important to use the kind especially for plastic or it won't stick. Lightly spray down the phones and let it dry for 15 minutes. Then flip them over and coat the other side. Once the second side is dry you can apply extra coats if needed. My yellow paint didn't cover well and needed several coats.

Voila! Homemade whisper phones! The kids love holding these to their mouths and ears as they read because it really amplifies their voices and allows them to hear themselves more clearly.
 If you make 5 of these, you pay approx. $2.50 a piece, half price! Plus you will have extra pipe and glue leftover.

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