July 24, 2012

Oatmeal Canister Drum

We eat a lot of oatmeal around here.  In the summertime I often choose something sweet for breakfast over something savory.  And when I want something hearty that isn't eggs and toast, I microwave a bowl of oats with chopped apples and nuts.  When it's too hot to bake dessert in the oven, I make a quick batch of No-Bake Cookies.  It is now the end of July, and we have gone through several canisters of oatmeal!  

I just can't throw away an oatmeal canister.  There's so much it can be used for!  Right now I have two small canisters to repurpose.  I'm making them into personalized drums for two kids I know.  

How to make an oatmeal canister drum:

1.  Shake out oatmeal crumbs into the trash.  Then wipe canister with a damp cloth.

2.  Use white printing paper and tape to cover the canister evenly.  I used two sheets to cover a small canister.  When the paper was too long on one end, I just folded it under because this simple project doesn't require precise measuring and cutting.  I used packaging tape to secure the paper and help make the drum durable for little hands.  Be sure to tape one end of the paper to the canister, then roll the paper around and secure again with more tape along the entire seam.  Don't tape the lid down because it will effect the sound quality and it's fun to store things in an oatmeal drum, too.

3.  Give the drum to a child with some markers or crayons.  Encourage them to decorate it to their heart's content.  

4.  Allow the child to experiment with the drum first before offering directions.  They may find some creative ways to play with it!  

When they've had a chance to explore it, show them how one way to use this canister is as a drum.  Show them how to tap one end or both ends at the same time.  Show them how to tap with a whole hand or just fingertips.  Help them explore different ways to make unique sounds.  

The drum is also a great storage device.  What kinds of sounds come from the drum when there are things inside?  How are these sounds different from when the drum is empty?

An oatmeal canister drum makes a really easy, very fun, wonderfully personalized toy.  It also doesn't add to toy clutter around the home or classroom.  When you're done with the drum (or it becomes smashed) separate the plastic lid from the cardboard cylinder and recycle.  


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