Making Sounds at Home: Tin can-o-phone

Create unusual metallic sounds by adding a small amount of water to a tin can and giving it a tap!

Finished Tin Can-o-Phone decorated with white paper with purple flecks, different sized coloured pom poms and a orange monster sticker.

This guide is part of our Sense Arts, Sport & Wellbeing programme. This activity can be done at a time that suits you, either in your own space or in an educational setting. 

Why does this make a difference?

This is a creative activity that helps people explore and expand their creative choices while supporting independence in the activity.

Who is this for?

This is a crafting activity for people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities and can be enjoyed by anyone.

How to do this activity

What you’ll need

  • Tin cans
  • Tape
  • String
  • Wooden spoon or beater
  • Broom handle or pole

Step 1

Take your can and cover any sharp edges with thick tape. Support may need to be given for some with this step.
Tin can with tape covering its top edge and white string tied around the top.

Step 2

Tie some string around the top of the tin, tape it in place if required. Make sure you leave a tail of 15-30cm. Repeat for as many tins as you are using.
Tin can tied to wooden broom handle with the end of the string.

Step 3

Tie the other end of the string to a broom handle or pole.
Tin can hanging by string being tapped with a wooden beater.

Step 4

Fill the tins with between 50 –100ml of water. Be careful not to add too much water, or you won’t get an interesting sound! Tap the tins with a wooden spoon or beater and listen out for the odd watery metallic ‘doynge’ sound!

Top tips

  • Change the amount of water added to change the sound
  • Decorate your tin can. 

Content created by Tom Peel