Make It: Sound Stilts
Sound stilts made out of large metal cans and twine will give your child a new, taller view on the world. Add a new twist, and make sure everyone knows he’s coming, by adding the element of sound!
- Large metal cans, e.g. juice cans, coffee cans, stable enough to stand on (2)
- Small items that make a good sound when hit together such as beads and binder clips
- Twine or string
- Glue or hot glue gun (make sure you use glue that will secure items to metal)
- Craft sticks (4)
- Masking or fabric tape
Following these steps with your child to create sound stilts:
Step One: Choose Sound Making Materials
Ask your child to find materials that will make a good sound when knocked together such as wooden beads or seashells. You will need about 4-5 per can to make your child’s stilts noticeably noisy.
Step Two: Attach Sound-Making Material to the Cans
Cut lengths of twine long enough to be attached to the beads and other items so they will hang inside the can without touching the ground. Thread, glue and/or knot the twine around each sound-making item until securely attached. Safety Note: Only adults should handle a hot glue gun.
Turn the can so its bottom is facing up. Using a hammer and nail (adults only), punch holes through the bottom of each can, one for each item that will hang inside of each can.
Safety Note: Punching holes in the metal cans will result in sharp edges around the holes that can be sharp. Adults, keep children’s fingers safe during this step.
Thread each piece of twine attached to a sound-making item through an individual hole in the can so the sound-making item hangs inside of the can. Glue the twine to the bottom of the can. Allow to dry until the items are securely attached.
Step Three: Make Handles
To figure out how long to make the handles for your child’s stilts, ask him to stand on the metal cans and then measure one continuous piece of twine from the bottom of each can (the part he’s standing on) up to his hand, across his palm and back down to the bottom of the can. Make sure he has enough twine to hold the handle comfortably and for you to glue it to the can.
Repeat so he has a total of two pieces of twine, one for each handle.
Punch two holes in the bottom of each can to insert the twine for the handles; the holes should be directly opposite each other along the outer edge of the can.
Thread one end of the twine for the handle through each hole and glue each end to the can. Allow to dry until the twine handles are securely attached.
On the part of the handle he will hold in each hand, layer the twine between two craft sticks and glue together.
Once the glue is dry, wrap tape around the craft sticks until your child feels the handles are comfortable to hold.
Step Four: Try Out the Sound Stilts
Once the glue on your child’s stilts is dry, test them out on a flat surface. Ask your child how the sound differs between each stilt?
Safety Note: Kids must wear a helmet every time they test and use the stilts.