The whisper phone is a classic teacher DIY. I don't know who first discovered these babies, but I first learned about them 10 years ago during my undergrad from my favorite reading professor. 8 years into my career, and I'm just getting around to making some of my own. And I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner!
I do have whisper phones in my classroom, which I purchased years ago from a teacher catalog. Almost every single one has broken. They were flimsy, not that cute, and expensive!
So I finally took my tushy to Lowes and got what I needed. Word on the street is that Lowes can be hit or miss for getting your materials cut for you. I always engage the workers there in a conversation about what I'm making, and they are always happy to help free of charge! I DID have to play it a little bit dumb to get my PVC pipe cut. "Do I need to buy a saw, or are there special scissors for this stuff?" The nice lady took pity on me.
I asked for 3/4 inch pipe, because that's the most popular size. She ended up cutting the 1/2 size by mistake, but they still work perfectly and it ended up costing me a little less. Here is what I purchased:
1 long piece of 1/2 inch PVC pipe-cut into 3.5 inch pieces (it made about 30)
1/2 inch 90 degree elbows (I bought 40, since I only needed 20...I might get more later to use the extra sections of pipe)
Colorful duct tape (it doesn't take much)
I couldn't decide if I should spray paint the pipe of just use duct tape. I went with the tape because 1. I can change it later, 2. it's faster and less messy, and 3. I was able to do it today in my living room while it rained outside. It took no time at all!
If you've been considering making some of these...go do it! You feel feel so productive for very little effort! :)