I am always on the lookout for inexpensive tools to use in therapy. Part of my budget conscious desire comes from the fact that our ESL program is all-volunteer. And our budget is infinitesimally small, so I need a small amount of money (my own) to go a long way. Today I’m posting about easy-to-make and inexpensive “whisper phones” that can be used in speech and language therapy, or with ESL students when teaching pronunciation.
The “phones” are used by the student as they read or repeat. They speak into one end, and hear their own voice magnified in the other (if you do it, it’s pretty loud in your own ear, so you will naturally want to “whisper.”)
This amplification is helpful for students to “hear” how they sound.
Here’s how I made 5 phones:
I got a bag of ten 3/4″ (inch) 90 degree elbow PVC pieces (cost $3.49 at my local ACE Hardware) and a 2 foot 3/4″ (inch) straight PVC pipe ($1.29). These are the kind of pipes used with plumbing, spinkler systems, furniture, fishing, nearly the most common product in the world and used in so many things!) The come in 2 feet or longer and you will have to cut them up into 3 1/2 ” (inch) pieces.
At home my husband saw my little project and reminded me that we had leftover straight PVC pipe in the toolshed, so I didn’t even use the straight pipe I bought at ACE Hardware. (I’m gonna go get my money back on that one.) I just used the leftover PVC pipe we had.
My husband and son got out the hacksaw and cut five 3 1/2 ” (inch) straight pieces. Next they sanded the ends. It’s easier to assemble them once they’re sanded. Last I pushed the elbows on each piece to make a “phone.” You could paint them, or cover with pretty duct tape, if you want. I just left mine plain. I made 5 phones for $3.49. With sales tax, that comes to $0.75 per phone! So awesome!