Rolling Cans for Babies

Your baby will love to chase after and play with these rolling cans!



Empty formula can with lid


Photos or magazine pictures

Clear wide tape or contact paper

Bells, beads, beans, rice (you don’t need all of these, just choose something that will make sound when the can rolls) **For other options to small parts, SEE “Supervision” at the bottom of the article**

To Make:

Place a couple bells or other noise makers in the can and seal the lid.  (You will want to glue it securely!)  Glue or tape pictures all over the can and let dry. Then cover completely with wide clear tape or contact paper.

To Play:

Place the can on the floor and let your child explore it.  It will be fun to watch and see what they do.

Just a few ways in which your baby is stimulated by this toy:

  • Sight–By utilizing photos, your child will be able to see various objects and people–the more diverse the better.  Mine included the familiar and unfamiliar such as toys, words, and people of different races and abilities.
  • Sound–Using noise makers inside draws their attention to the toy, especially when it rolls. I found that some children even like to pound on it like a drum.
  • Movement–When the can rolls it intrigues them and more then likely will spur them on to reach for or crawl after it.
  • Conversation Starters–Although your baby may not be talking yet, it is a great way to introduce language just by talking about it.  You may want to describe the photos or even point out the shapes involved.  (For example there are circles when you look at the top or bottom of the can and the whole can itself is a cylinder shape.) It is NEVER to early to talk about these things with your child!


Even though the small parts are “secured” inside the can, it is NOT impossible for curious minds and little teeth to pry the lid off! As with any toy that includes small parts, it is VERY important to supervise your child as they play.  If you are concerned about this factor, it may be a good idea to put items large enough–that if they were to open the can, they would not be able to swallow them! (Suggestions: baby rattle, large block(s), or other noisy toy they ordinarily play with.) Another option would be to NOT secure the lid and instead use it to discover what is inside the can–again, using items they ordinarily are allowed to play with.

Please comment below, as I’d love to hear about how you and your baby played with these or how you modified it to work for you!

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