Introduction: Make a Rough and Ready Radioshow

This simple workshop is designed for a parent at home with one or more children. It uses readily available materials and equipment. Using an ordinary consumer bluetooth speaker and mobile phone it explores radio transmission by working together with children to create a cardboard radio. Children can make their own radio show and transmit to it using bluetooth.

The technology we use everyday for wireless speakers, gaming controllers, headsets and even mobile phones use a type of radio technology. Radio is a really important technology and comes in lots of forms. Bluetooth is also a kind of radio and it is named after a renowned Viking King and is represented by this interesting symbol.

AGES: 5-10

TIME: 2-3 hours


- A bluetooth speaker (good idea to check it works with your mobile device early)

- A smart phone with a voice recording App

- A cardboard box (big or small - the size is up to you)

- A pen/pencil

- A pair of scissors

Step 1: Let's Get Started

You will need to temporarily attach your speaker to a box. Speakers come in all shapes and sizes so think about a good place to position it on the box. You could draw around the speaker and then cut a hole with a scissors. Wedge the speaker into the hole. If you need to you could make it secure with a bit of tape. Add a fake antenna - I made a hole with the scissors and then used a pencil.No matter how you do it, make sure you can access the on/off button.

If the speaker is a bit heavy you might have to put a weight in the box. I used a stone but you can use anything that’s a bit heavier than the speaker, if you have a solid box you might not need it.

Step 2: Decorate Your Box

Now decorate your box with some extra details. Older radios often have tuning dials used to tune into far away cities. Do you have a radio in your house you could look at? Or can you search together for some pictures of radios on the internet to give you some extra ideas for things you might like to add to your radio.

Step 3: Give Your Radio a Brandname

Radios often have a brandname on them. Remember the interesting symbol for bluetooth we saw earlier. That used the Viking Kings initials in an old runic alphabet! You could also make your own symbol and use it as brandname for your own radio.

Step 4: Now You Are Ready to Do a Test Transmission

Using the smartphone voice recording app: Record an easily recognisable sound file -i.e say "testing";…. Or some letters from the Alphabet.

Step 5: Pair Your Mobile Phone With With the Speaker and Play Your File

Step 6: Now Take Some Time and Start to Brainstorm

What kind of things would you like to send to your radio What kind of things would you like to record to transmit? You could start with a jingle or you can create your own radio station and a show. What other things would you like to transmit? Are there sounds or songs you particularly like?

Step 7: Gather One or More Listeners and Broadcast the Show!