The Tin Can Word Game

Tin can word game

Rowan is one of the youngest children in his class, and when he started school aged just four years and three weeks I was worried. He’s a bright kid, but his brother was almost five when he started school so there was a big difference. Even now, six months in, Rowan is at an age when Louis would still have been at home with me.

I really didn’t need to worry. Rowan is doing well at school, he is keeping up with his peers and even working ahead of target in some areas. That is great, and I’m really super proud of him, but it doesn’t mean I don’t still want to support him at home.

Rowan has lists of ‘Red Words’ in his bag. He’s always grasped them fairly quickly until the most recent list came home. For some reason, he was struggling with these few words and it didn’t seem to matter how often we looked at them, they just weren’t sinking in.

How could I encourage Rowan to remember these words? How could I make learning them more fun?



Two things Rowan really loves!

So I saved up enough tin cans (beans or tinned tomatoes with every meal, anyone?) for each of the tricky words. Then I washed them and wrapped them in foil before printing each one out and sticking them to a can.

Add a small football and what have you got? A messy, noisy ball-in-the-house learning game!

I wasn’t sure if he would take me up on the offer of a word game but he was thrilled with the wrecklessness of it all and played for quite some time. He found it fun and he practiced his tricky red words.

I’d like to say that he knew them all perfectly the next morning but alas, that wasn’t the case. Or maybe he did but he was tricking me into playing again, the little monkey.

Either way he had fun and practised in a different way which I’m sure will have helped.

Its really easy to incorporate run into learning if you just let your imagination free!


  1. It’s such a great idea to find something a child likes and incorporate some extra learning into it. This is very similar to the sight word bowling we did a few weeks ago and it worked well for my girls. It sounds like Rowan had fun and he probably learnt more than you think. Fab idea!
    Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids

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