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two dolphins swimming in the ocean Echolocation Activity

Use Echolocation with a friend to find out how dolphins find food in the ocean.

This activity is pulled from our Virtual ExCEL Camps happening summer of 2020! While these activities are written to fit into the larger lesson plan of the camp themes, you can complete them with your little one at any time. Learn more about our Virtual ExCEL Summer Camp here!

Appropriate Age Range: 5 years of age and up

Materials Needed:

  • cardboard tube (2 Paper towel rolls or wrapping paper roll)
  • tin pan or pie dish
  • tape


Some of these terms may seem brand new so take some time to look them up and they will be part of your vocabulary too: Echolocation, whisper, echoes


Tape your tin pan or pie dish on it’s side to a table or other flat surface.  One person whispers into a paper towel roll that is pointed toward the tin while a friend points the other paper towel roll toward the tin and places his/her ear on the roll. Then with a friend, take turns whispering and listening for echoes.  You can whisper secret messages, jokes, or even spell words for the other person to figure out.


Try standing at different distances and listen to see if the whispers get louder or quieter.  Dolphins make sounds under the water, the sounds will bounce off a school of fish creating an echo, and dolphins use these echoes to find out exactly where they are.


Dolphins are not the only ocean animal with cool tricks for survival.  Below are some science experiments based on cool survival skills of other ocean animals.

Blubber Experiment

How Sharks Float Activity





Leslie McNeil, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments

Leslie McNeil worked at the Georgia Academy for the Blind as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired.  While there she was a camp instructor for summer camps and weekend camps.  She also taught in the after school program for enrichment activities for students.  Currently, she is one of the Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments for Columbia County School district in Georgia.

Jessica Kaminski, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments

Jessica Kaminski is one of the Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments for the Columbia County School district in Georgia. During her thirteen years of teaching, she has worked by providing extended school year services or as an instructor for Camp All-Stars for children with special needs.


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