APRIL, 2015


Weights – Put 1 lb. of dry beans in a ½ gallon jug.  Make a label that says “2Tons” and tape to the jug.  Children can use these like weights.





Funnel – Cut the top off a milk jug as shown.  Use as a funnel in the water table or sandbox.  Use the bottom for a pail.





Measurement – Give each child a cup, pint, quart ½ gallon, and gallon dairy container.  Let them experiment in the water table to find out how many cups in a pint, pints in a quart, cups in a quart, and so forth.

Games – Cut a 4” circle from the side of a gallon jug  Cut 3” squares from poster boar.  Write words, letters, numerals, shapes, etc. on the squares.  Put a “joke” sticker (skunk, bee, monster) on several of the squares.  Place the squares in the jug face down.  Children take turns selecting cards and identifying the information.  If they choose the joke card they must put all their pieces back.


Bunny – Cut part of the jug off as shown.  Add a bunny face and ears.  Fill with plastic grass and use like an Easter basket.  You can also put 1” of dirt in the bottom.  Sprinkle with grass seed.   Water and set in a sunny place and observe.  You’ll have some real grass that will look like the bunny is growing hair!

Critter cage – Cut the sides off a ½ gallon jug.  Insert the jug in an old pair of hose.  Add a few leaves and sticks.  Catch critters and fasten the top with a bread tie.  Observe and then let your critter free.

Ice House – Collect milk jugs for several weeks and then use them like giant blocks of ice to make an igloo. 




Game pieces – Save bottle caps and use them for game pieces or for tic-tac-toe.  (Visit theschoolbell.com for great board games you can adapt to skills you are working on.)





Sorting – Collect bottle caps in a plastic container.  Challenge children to sort them.  Can they sort them another way?  Which group has the most?  Least?




Patterns – Let children make patterns with bottle caps.  What kind of pattern is it?





Counting – Children can count bottle caps, make sets in muffin pans, etc.





Crafts – Use bottle caps for collages, picture frames, and other art projects.

PLASTIC CONTAINERS (margarine tubs, yogurt, etc.)

Trash bin – Place tubs on tables for children to use for trash.  Choose a “helper” to empty these at the end of each day.


Turtle – Turn a margarine tub into a pull toy.  Trace around the bottom of the container on felt.  Draw a head, feet, and tail on the felt.  Cut out and glue to the bottom of the tub.  Punch a hole in the head and tie on string for pulling.



Sand toys – Punch holes in the bottoms of yogurt cups.  Use like sieves in the sand and water table.

Sorting – Let children sort buttons, coins, shells, beans, etc.



Art supplies – Store craft materials in plastic containers.  Label with the word and picture.





Weaving – Children can weave bits of string, yarn, and ribbon through the berry baskets.  Hang in a tree for birds to build nests.

Sorting – Let children sort plastic animals, crayons, or pictures in baskets.

Bubble blower – Dip the end of a basket in bubble solution.  Swish through the air.

Printing – Dip baskets in paint and print on paper.


Painting trays – Use to hold paint for art projects.


Picture frames – Cut paper to fit in the bottom.  Children draw pictures and glue in the pans.  Punch a hole and add string for hanging.






Housekeeping – Cut out pictures of food from magazines and tape in the bottom of pie pans to use like play food.





Tin pan band – Let children use pie pans, cardboard rollers, and other recycled materials to make musical instruments.






Stilts – You will need two large coffee cans and rope or strong twine.  Punch two holes opposite each other in the tops of both cans.  Insert the rope through the holes and knot so children can hold them at their waist as they walk.

Storage – Use cans to store art materials, game pieces, etc.


Juice can phone – Punch a hole in the bottoms of two juice cans.  Thread string through the two holes and knot.  Children take turns holding the cans to their ear or speaking.

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