Have you ever been wrapped up in an intense game of kickball or tag on the playground? You’re having so much fun that you don’t even notice that it’s time to head back to class. You don’t even hear the teacher telling you it’s time to go.

So what gets your attention? It’s that shrill, loud sound that cuts right through to the center of your brain. What are we talking about? A whistle, of course!

From the beginning of time, teachers and principals have used a loud whistle to get the attention of kids on the playground. There’s just something about the sound of a loud whistle that will stop you in your tracks!

Can you whistle? A whistle is simply a high-pitched sound made by forcing air through a small opening. For example, most people whistle by forcing air through a small hole they form by puckering their lips into an “O” shape.

Now, if you pucker your lips and blow air through them, you probably won’t hear a whistle. There’s a little more to whistling you need to know about. You’ll need to get your tongue involved, too. And your lungs. Your tongue and your lungs help to regulate the speed of the air flow and the exact direction it takes as it passes by your lips.

If you’ve never whistled before, it might seem a little too complicated. Trust us, though. Everyone can learn to whistle. It just takes time and a lot of practice! Learning to whistle takes a lot of trial and error, so don’t give up.

If you’re having trouble whistling by blowing air out of your lips, you might want to try sucking air in instead. The direction the air flows doesn’t really matter and sometimes it can be easier to learn to whistle by sucking air in rather than blowing it out.

Once you get the hang of whistling by blowing air out through your lips, you can challenge yourself to learn how to whistle with your fingers in your mouth. You may have seen some people do this on occasion. This technique can produce an extremely loud and shrill whistle that will get everyone’s attention! You can check online for videos that show you how to go about learning this special whistling technique.

72 Join the Discussion

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    • Hello to our Wonder Family, the Smiths! Thanks for sharing your comment with us today– we hope you’ve been whistling while you Wonder! Thanks for sharing your prediction for tomorrow- what a bright guess! :)

    • Nice predictions, Wonder Friends in Ms. Bayko’s Class! Welcome back from Spring Break- we are so happy you’re here today! :)

  1. Thoughts: I am very familiar with what these people used to make the video. I use it every day. (Duyen) I would really like to be able to finsh the song. (Joe)

    Connections: This reminds me of the muppets movie where the characters whistled in the end just like the article we read. (Cristian) This reminds me of Flo-Rida because the music video used his song. (Pedro)

    Predictions: What is a fossil? (Maria) Do you know how fossils are made? (Shalize) Is Medusa a myth? (Duyen) Have you ever discovered dinosaur bones? (Gabrielle) How do you wrap mummies? (Briahna) Can you turn Egypitan emperors into stone? (Jake) Who is God? (Joe) Who is Balto? (Cristian) What is lava? (Mrs. Hess)

    We are back today from a two week spring break! We missed you!

    • Welcome back to Wonderopolis, Mrs. Hess’ Class! We hope you had a WONDERful time during Spring Break! :)

      Duyen, Joe, Cristian and Pedro, it’s super cool that you’ve been WONDERing about how the video was made, and what song was used! Way to go! We’ll have this tune stuck in our heads all days long! :)

      Maria, Shalize, Duyen, Garbrielle, Briahna, Jake, Joe, Cristian and Mrs. Hess, thank you for your awesome predictions! From fossils to Greek mythology to hot lava, we are excited to Wonder with you again tomorrow! HOORAY for you! :)

  2. Kylie wondered if it would be harder to whistle as you get older because you need to make a small opening and as you get older, your mouth gets bigger and it would be harder to make a small opening.

    Gabryel wonders if it is harder to whistle with your fingers in your mouth.

    Isabela didn’t know that you could whistle by sucking in air.

    • We’re so glad our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Thomas’ Class are thinking outside the box today! HOORAY! :)

      Thanks for sharing your awesome question, Kylie! We know lots of older people who can still whistle quite well, but perhaps after all that practice as a kid, they’re still good at whistling! :)

      We sure think it’s tough to whistle with your fingers, Gabreyel! Have you tried it? We’re still working on it here at Wonderopolis…

      We hope you’ll test all different kinds of whistling techniques, Isabela, from blowing the air out, sucking it in and using your fingers, too! Don’t forget to wash your hands before and after you try it! :)

    • Great point, Wonder Friend Tgass! We have some expert whistlers here at Wonderopolis, but they’ve been practicing for years! We are so glad you joined us today! :)

    • It’s tough, Claudia, and it takes a lot of practice! We Wonder if any of your friends or family members know how to whistle with their fingers… and can they teach you? Or you can search for some cool instructional videos online! :)

  3. Hi Wonderopolis!

    We learned that you can whistle in or out.
    How do you think of the things for wonder of the day?

    We predict tomorrow’s wonder will be about a fossil, a bone, a dinosaur, or a skeleton.

    • Hey there, Froggy 1! Happy Monday, thanks for visiting us at Wonderopolis!

      We are always on the search for a new Wonder of the Day®, and we encourage you to nominate Wonders of your own here: http://wonderopolis.org/nominate-wonder/ :)

      Thanks for sharing your guesses for the next Wonder of the Day®, we think you’ll enjoy our historic adventure! :)

    • Keep practicing, Natalia! We believe in you! Some of us at Wonderopolis are still trying to whistle, too… but it’s fun to try! :)

  4. Many of us can whistle blowing out, but few of us can whistle sucking air in.

    We think tomorrow’s Wondering will be about fossils, dinosaurs, bones, or skeletons.

    • Whistling is certainly a skill, and we’re glad so many of our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Tompkins’ class have been practicing their whistling abilities! We LOVE to whistle while we Wonder… and we hope to see you tomorrow for more WONDERing! Thank you for sharing your awesome predictions! :)

    • Hey Moira, you’re one talented whistler! Thanks for telling us about how you like to whistle– do you whistle while you work? :)

  5. I can’t whistle. But my brother can. He sounds like a bird and if he whistles like that he can make birds talk to him.

    • WOW, you have one talented, whistling brother, Blakeleigh! Thanks for telling us what your brother reminds you of– the birds must LOVE him! :)

  6. Hey Wonderopolis!

    We want to learn how to whistle with our fingers (especially our teacher).

    We think we know what tomorrow’s wonder of the day will be… about dinosaurs’ bones, gold or volcanoes! We think it will be interesting.

    THANKS!

    • Hey there, Ms. G’s Class! Thanks for WONDERing with us… we’re still working on whistling with our fingers here at Wonderopolis! We’ve all been giggling as we try our hardest! There’s been a lot of accidental spitting, that’s for certain! :)

      We think you’ve hit the gold with your predictions for the next Wonder of the Day®! We look forward to finding out for sure! :)

  7. _____________________________________________________________________
    Hi!!! I Haven’t Been Here In A While :( That Was Cool I Wish I Could Whistle!!! :D
    _____________________________________________________________________Wonder What’s Next???
    Tomorrow’s Wonder Of The Day Was Once Alive, But Is Now Hard As A Rock!!!
    Yes It’s going to be Fossils Or Trex!!! :D
    _____________________________________________________________________
    I Wonder How You Made This Website??? Anyway See Ya!!! :D

    • Welcome back to Wonderopolis, Max, we’re so happy you’re here today! Even if you can’t whistle, we’re glad you’ve joined us today to Wonder! We think you’re on the right path for tomorrow’s Wonder, too! We look forward to seeing you soon, and we hope you have a TERRIFIC day!

      Wonderopolis was created on October 4, 2010 and we have continued to add a new Wonder each day– we’ve surpassed 900 Wonders! Can you believe it?! :)

  8. Hi! This was a cool wonder! I have tried to whistle, but I can’t. And yes, like Blakeleigh said, our brother can whistle, and he sounds like some kind of bird when he does it. And our older sister can, too. Thank you for today’s wonder! :) ;)

    • Hey Berkleigh, we’re so glad you’re here today! It sounds like you’ve got some whistling siblings with lots of talent! We bet your home is always full of delightful music! :)

  9. I loved this wonder it helped so much now I know how to whistle even better! Thanks! Can’t wait til the next wonder.

    • HOORAY, what an awesome comment, Morgan3222! We are super excited that you learned how to improve your whistling! We bet it’s WONDERful! Thanks for visiting us today, we hope to see you again soon! :)

    • Well thanks, Omari! We Wonder if you can whistle? It’s pretty difficult to do, but once you get the hang of it, it can be lots of fun! :)

  10. We are wondering who invented whistling and when it was first recorded?

    What is the age most kids learn to whistle?

    Is there a record of the loudest or the longest whistle?

    How do you whistle with your fingers in your mouth?

    Thanks for your great daily WONDERS ! :)

    • Great questions, Mrs. W’s Readers! Perhaps you can poll your classroom to find out when everyone first learned to whistle!

      The loudest whistle has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records; in 2004, Marco Ferrera was recorded the loudest whistler! :)

      Thanks for sharing your awesome questions with us, we hope you’ll continue to Wonder about whistling! :)

    • Hey there, Deanna! We don’t offer the option to print a Wonder directly from Wonderopolis, but we’re working on it for the very near future. In the meantime, you can choose the email option and send yourself an email. From there you can print away! :)

  11. We did not know that both your tongue and lungs help you to whistle. (Krysten)
    We already know that many people can make music from whistling. (Emma)
    Anyone can whistle…or so they say! (Cameron)
    We know that it takes lots of practice, because some of us still are not able to whistle. (Neleh)
    We learned that a whistle is a high, shrill tone. (Malkam)
    Some whistles are with our fingers, and some are not. (Tommy)

    • Hey there, Miss Fleenor and our Wonder Friends in her class! Krysten, Emma, Cameron, Neleh, Malkam and Tommy have been using their awesome brains and mouths to whistle with us today! Thanks for sharing what you learned, what you liked, and your beautiful whistling, too! :)

    • Great guess, and thanks for WONDERing with us today, Mrs. Zitar’s Class! It sounds like you’ve got a musical class– have fun! :)

    • It’s okay, Sofie, we have some Wonder Friends here at Wonderopolis who are having trouble getting their lips to cooperate, too! Sometimes it just takes time, patience and practice to get it right! Keep up the great work! :)

    • Check out our Wonder today, Alexandra! You’ll learn something new and you’ll see some whistling, too! :)

    • Keep up the hard work, Cassidy! We know it takes some work to get your lips, tongue, lungs and mouth to work together! :) We hope you’ll come back to find out what the next Wonder will be! :)

  12. I whistle so much! I enjoyed this wonder wonderopolis!!!

    I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about dinosaur fossils.

    • Hey Annie, thanks for sharing your awesome comment about today’s Wonder! We’re so happy it made you smile! We bet you can whistle quite a few tunes!

      We look forward to digging up tomorrow’s Wonder with you! :)

  13. Hello wondermans!(and ladies)
    You guys remember me right? I’m Sarah from team cassie a couple years ago. I’m in 6th grade, almost done and I’m loving it!
    I like your wonders, your 88 away from your 1000th wonder! Congrats!!
    Also I love your website. A fun way to learn is what I think!
    Til the next comment,
    Wonder Friend
    PS: How’d you guys come up with such a good site? You all must love the concept of wondering!

    • Welcome back, Wonder Friend Sarah! We are so glad you visited us today, and you’re counting down until our 1,000th Wonder, too! Thanks for the update! :)

      We hope you’re having a great time in 6th grade, and we hope you’ll join us again for another Wonder soon! It’s great to say hello! We really love WONDERing here at Wonderopolis- it’s so much fun that we just have to share it! :)

    • Hey there, Belyndise! We’re glad you’ve been practicing your whistling skills– it takes some time! We have some Wonder Friends here at Wonderopolis who are in the same boat as you, practice makes perfect! Thanks for sharing your comment today! :)

    • No worries, Wonder Friend Kate! I’m sure you have lots of other talents that perhaps others don’t have! Hope you have a fantastic day! :)

  14. I think that this wonder can realy help poeople whistle. Everyone can learn how to whistle just from looking at this wonder. People and kids everywhere can now whistle even if kids at school are on the website they can still learn how. Thanks wonderopolis. I will always come here for info.

    • Hey Eve, thank you for sharing your comment! We are whistling a tune here at Wonderopolis thanks to your SUPER comment! We look forward to practicing our whistling since we’ve learned so much with you! :)

    • Great question, Morgan! We have lots of Wonder Friends here at Wonderopolis who help us research, write, edit and post the Wonders of the Day! It’s a super fun place to be, and we are glad that awesome friends like you visit us! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  15. Hi it’s me again, Jaden I have a question for you: how did you make this website and why did you pick that song to do for this video?

    thank you,
    Jaden

  16. But the good thing is that I can whistle so know anytime I hear that song I can whistle and think about this website and the video.

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Jaden! Thanks for stopping by Wonderopolis again! We are glad to hear that you can whistle (some of us here at Wonderopolis are still working on our whistling skills…) and you’ll be reminded of our Wonder whenever you do! While we create each Wonder, we don’t create the videos, but this video made us smile, and that’s why we shared it! :)

  17. I can’t whistle! I’m almost 12, and I still can’t whistle! I know 5 years olds that can whistle! Well I used to know how to whistle. I say whistle too much :D Well anyways, everytime I try, It never works! Have a nice day :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • How do you whistle?
  • Can everyone learn to whistle?
  • Can you whistle along to your favorite tune?

Wonder Gallery

918Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to go to work? Don’t worry. You can whistle while you do it! Grab a friend or family member and check out one or more of the following activities:

  • Do you know someone who can whistle really well? Are they as good as the whistlers in the videos below? Watch and see. What do you think? Could you ever whistle this well?
  • Can you whistle? Let’s find out! If you need some help getting started, check out this helpful instructional video: How To Learn To Whistle. If you can’t whistle by blowing out, you might be able to get the hang of it by sucking air in through your lips first. Learning to whistle can take a lot of practice, so don’t worry if you don’t get the hang of it right away. It’s like riding a bicycle. At first, it seems really hard. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever couldn’t whistle. Once you start making your first whistling sounds, experiment by trying to make different types of sounds. Can you whistle a really high note? How about a really low note? Can you whistle along to your favorite tune on the radio?
  • Up for a challenge? Jump online to check out a tutorial for How To Whistle with Your Fingers! If you master this technique, you’ll never again have to worry about not getting attention when you want it. You’ll be able to produce an ear-shattering whistle that’ll stop traffic!

Still Wondering

Check out ArtsEdge’s Lift Every Voice and Sing lesson to explore and analyze Lift Every Voice and Sing, a poem by James Weldon Johnson.

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Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day was once alive, but is now hard as a rock!

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