Monday, August 5, 2013

Clank Cans

Long ago, my niece who was doing child care at the time, suggested I make a clank can and use it for story retelling.  I didn't know what a clank can was and to be honest, after she explained it to me I thought she was a little crazy.  Why would kids like them??

I ended up trying them and went on to design many.  Why??  Because for some reason kids love them!

Here is a version for a Brown Bear, Brown Bear clank can.

Here's how you make them.  Find a can that has a metal bottom.  Formula cans or some coffee cans work great for this.  Take off the label and cover the can with construction paper.  Cut a hole in the lid as shown.

Go to this page at Making Learning Fun and decided what version of the can you'd like to make.  There are many to choose from.  Print the pieces.

Collect frozen orange juice lids or lids that have been removed with a can opener that open cans by lifting the lids rather than cutting the lids like this one.

Pampered Chef New Smooth Edge Can Opener #2759

After the lids are clean attach the character pieces to the lids by gluing then covering with Clear Contact Paper,  Cut out and laminate the label.  Attach to your can with Velcro.  Then you can interchange the labels depending on which story version you are using.

Now the fun begins.  Sit in a circle with your kiddos or work one on one.  Lay the character pieces(lids) out on the floor.  Start retelling the story.  As there is action with each character, have the children drop that lid (character) into the can.  Kids love to hear the clank sound as they lids drop and hit the bottom of the can.

I know it sounds crazy that kids would like this but they truly do.  I had one little girl at childcare that would stack the lids on top of each other in order of the story.  I've made two sets of lids and the kids have played concentration with them.  It's a great activity to aid in story retelling...and it's super cheap to make.

Fun and cheap and educational??  You can't beat that!!


  1. I bought poker chips to use and they are faster to make without waiting for can lids... They clanking noise is a bit different but still gives the same effect!

  2. I use these cans all of the time in my speech therapy sessions. The kids really do LOVE them!! Great idea to use the can lids/poker chips...anything noisy is always a hit!!