Earth Day: DIY Carnival Can Bean Bag Toss

I came across this pin earlier today on Pinterest and thought it’d be super easy  to set up our own version of a can bean bag toss.  It’s a very Earth-Day-appropriate activity, too, since it gives more life to items that would otherwise be trashed or recycled!

I have been saving cans for awhile to make this robot building kit, so I just borrowed 10 from my stash.  I brought in a little plastic shelf from our garage and set it up on the rug in front of our couch.  I figured the couch would be a good backstop for the beanbags to crash into, and the rug would soften the sound of all the falling cans!

We used 10 cans (emptied and cleaned) and I showed the kids how to build a pyramid with 4 cans on bottom, 3 on top of those, 2 on top of those, and 1 on the very top.  For a simpler pyramid for younger kids, use just 6 cans: 3 on bottom, 2 in the middle, and 1 on top.

We had some alphabet beanbags, so we used those for throwing.  

Each person got to throw 3 beanbags for his/her turn.  We used the edge of the rug as the throwing line.

When a person’s turn was over, they counted the cans they were able to knock off the table, and they set up the pyramid for the next person.


This is a really fun and easy activity that’s great to keep in mind for rainy days!  In addition to being fun, kids get some fine and gross motor skills practice, and they can practice counting!! 🙂

Here are some more pics of our fun:






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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Lindsay says:

    What a great idea!! This looks like so much fun! I am going to start collecting our cans now 🙂

  • Deborah says:

    This is a great way to use up all the cans I have saved up!

  • That is a fun idea. We will have to start saving cans and try it out. I am not sure if they can do it yet (as they just turned two), but we can try and make the throwing distance very short. : 0 )

  • rushna says:

    its a very nice activity but where its link related to earth day

  • […] Bowling, “Ice Skating” in the Living Room, “Move Like a…” games, DIY Carnival Can Bean Bag Toss, and kid-friendly Minute to Win It games! If you’re looking for gross motor games with an […]

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  • […] Game by No Time for Flashcards 4. Junk Yard Sensory Bin and Counting Game by Stir the Wonder 5. Carnival Can Bean Bag Toss by In Lieu of Preschool 6. Roll a Dice Lorax Game by Smashed Peas and Carrots 7. Around the World […]

  • Jenna says:

    I’m assembling a small booklet of activities for volunteers to use with the children at church. I love this!!!
    Would it be okay if I used one of the pictures of the cans stacked up? (Not the ones with your children pictured.)

  • […] In Lieu of Preschool:  Do it with cans. Just knock ’em down. […]

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