Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coffee Can Stilts - Another Summer Boredom Buster

I've been wanting to make coffee can stilts with the kids since we read Ramona And Her Father by Beverly Cleary last summer. I was drinking more expensive coffee then though, and didn't have a lot of cans. Since we've been cutting costs with the rest of the nation, I switched to generic coffee, and so we've been building up a supply of empty cans (another benefit of frugal living).

This project requires -
  • two cans per child
  • some rope, or heavy twine - old jump ropes would work too s
  • some type of tool to punch holes in a coffee can - I probably would have tried a screwdriver and hammer, but since my husband was willing to take charge of the construction, he opted for a cordless drill.
Drill or punch two holes opposite each other on the sides of the can, near to the bottom.
Measure off your rope. It should be a little more than twice the distance from the bottom of the child's foot to their hands extended at their sides. Cut two lengths the same size - one for each can.
Tie a knot in one end of the rope.
Thread the rope through one of the holes, so the knot is on the inside of the can.
Thread the other end through the opposite hole, so the untied end is also inside the can. Tie a knot in the other end of rope.
Turn the cans over, and pull of the loop of rope, and one stilt is ready. Repeat the steps for the second stilt. The kids step up onto the cans, holding the looped rope in their hands. As they step they have to pull on the rope to lift the can with their feet.

This would be an excellent time to have the children interview older relatives, or neighbors, about the toys they made as children (which would also work as a literature tie in to Ramona And Her Father - and just in time for Father's Day too).

It's great to be a homeschooler!

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