Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Can Stilts

I had a pair of can stilts that my grandmother made for me out of cans when I was younger.  I loved them, so I decided to make a pair for Steel.

I used two left over cans from Steel's party.  I did not have a can opener, the kind that you use to puncture triangles into the top of can lids.  So I went and purchase one for 99 cents.  It seemed like a good idea at the time until it broke on the first hole I made into the cans.  With a little elbow grease, I managed to get 3 more holes and finish my little project.

2 quart sized paint cans (or larger 28oz. tomato sauce cans would work nicely)
Rope (approximately 36 inches for each can)
Can opener (the kind described above)

The How To
1.  Turn cans upside down so that the bottom of the can is facing upward and the opening is pointing down.  Use can opener to poke triangular holes into the sides of cans at the top edge(Hopefully, you will not break your can opener.)

2.  Cut two pieces of rope, equal in size, one for each can.  This measurement is dependent on the height of the child.  You want to make sure that it is long enough so that the child does not have to bend over to hold on to the rope but short enough that they won't need to pull the ropes over their heads.

3.  Insert ends of rope into each hole of a can and push through.

4.  Tie a knot and tighten.

5.  Pull the rope back through so that the knot is inside the can and the rope (handle) is outside.

6.  Let the fun begin!  Steel was not being cooperative and demonstrate so that I could take a picture so for those of you that have never seen these I will try to explain how to use them.

How They Work:
     1.  Child places foot, preferably with shoes on, on the bottom of can (now the top).
     2.  Child, then, grasps rope with hand of same side as foot.  (Ex.  Right foot, right hand)
     3.  Repeat for other foot and hand.
     4.  Pull up with rope to lift can and foot and move forward alternating sides as walking.

It takes a bit of concentration at first but it's a fun activity!

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