Friday, September 12, 2008

Color My World - Rethink How You Can Use Your Trash

I always look at trash I can't recycle and try to think if there is something else I can use it for. We have an "inventions box" in our house full of these kinds of treasures (bits of plastic packaging, twist ties, wine corks, plastic lids, foam, bubble wrap, etc.) My girls like making art and "inventions" with them and I've been known the raid the box when I'm working on one of my own projects. Sometimes I have things that are too big for the inventions box but I can't bear to just toss them in the trash either, one of these things are mini quiche trays from BJs/Costco.

My kids love to eat Nancy's frozen mini quiche but I don't like the plastic trays they come in because they can't be recycled. My solution is to wash and save them for art and science projects at home. Here are a few re-uses we've found for plastic quiche trays:
  • Display & Collecting: They are great for playing "geologist" (just collect rocks in the back yard and let your little one wash them with a paintbrush and water and display them in the tray)
  • Sorting: I also love them for sorting projects like sorting buttons, beads, noodles, etc.
  • Mixing Colors: One of my daughter's favorites I came up with involved filling the little cups with some water and putting a few drops of red, yellow, and blue food coloring in a couple of them. Then I gave her an old eye dropper (that I saved from an old infant's tylenol bottle - these make great toys too... the eye droppers not Baby Tylenol!) She used the dropper to mix the primary colors (red, blue, yellow) into varying shades of secondary colors (orange, green, purple) and had a blast while learning about mixing colors and improving her fine motor skills by using an eye dropper.
  • Paint tray for mixing tempera paint
  • Pass them along to Elementary and Preschool teachers for their centers
  • Have other ideas? I would love to hear them!


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