Wee Inspirations

How to Build a Tin Can Drum

What is a tin can drum?

One of our Creative Skills artists, Fraser Stone, shared how to make a tin can drum on our Creative Skills podcast. Make sure you also watch the video of this idea to see one being built!

The point of a tin can drum is to reuse old recycling to make an instrument that has loads of different sounds for wee ones to explore.

  1. 1: Prep your tin

    Grab an old tin from your recycling, remove the lid, give it a clean and make sure you sand off any sharp edges! Explore different materials you could place inside to create a good shaking noise – let you wee one explore the different sound lentils, dried peas, pasta etc make and let them choose the filling.

  2. 2: Balloon time

    Once your tin is filled and ready, snip the neck off of a balloon and stretch it over the open end of the tin and tape it in place. This creates a mini drum surface, and ensures none of the stuff inside goes flying when you use it as a shaker!

  3. 3: Get snappy!

    Wrap a rubber band around the can at the top and the bottom, then slide a lollipop stick in so it’s held in place by the two rubber bands. You can pull this back to create a snapping sound when it hits the side of the tin.

  4. 4: Decorate

    Now that you’ve created your tin can drum, you can decorate it and give it a personality! Is it a person, an alien, or a favourite animal?

    (P.S. For more tips on creating a puppet personna, check out our resources from Charlotte Allan!)

  5. 5: Explore

    The most important part of using music with wee ones is exploration. There’s no one correct way to make this drum, and there’s no one correct way to play it! Experiment with adding different things onto your tin can, and with unusual ways to play with it. What does it sound like when it’s rolled or dropped?