Repurpose your recyclable paper egg cartons into wonderful crafts that will have your kids cracking up! By getting creative and having fun, you'll set a great example of how to reuse and recycle items into eco-friendly objects. Your child will learn about bugs, saving pennies, colors, and how plants grow with these eight eggs-ceedingly cool projects. Note: Avoid using egg cartons with egg spillage, and don't allow children to use scissors and the hot-glue gun.
Decorate a room with beautiful flowers that will never wilt.
What You'll Need: 1 egg carton; scissors; tempera paint (red, yellow, orange, purple); paintbrushes; scrap paper; hot-glue gun; pompoms; craft needle or pushpin; green pipe cleaners; vase or ribbon (optional)
Make It: Cut off the top half of the egg carton, leaving just the bottom. Cut and separate one individual egg cup and trim the outside edges; they can be rounded and smooth or pointed and jagged. Select a color of paint and coat the entire cup, inside and out. Once the paint has dried, use a craft needle or a pushpin to create a hole at the base of the egg cup. Thread a green pipe cleaner through the flower and bend it inside the cup to secure it. Use a hot-glue gun to cover the center of the flower with a pompom. Continue cutting and painting egg cup flowers (as many as you want) to create a beautiful bouquet you can place in a vase, or tie them together with a ribbon.
Color theory doesn't have to be boring with this activity!
What You'll Need: 1 egg carton; scissors; tempera paint (red, yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, black); paintbrushes
Make It: Cut off the top half of the egg carton, leaving just the bottom. Select one color for each cup and paint the inside of each egg cup until there are 12 different colors, or repeat a few favorite hues. While the egg tray is drying, have a scavenger hunt around the house and let your child search for and collect small items of various colors. Then match each item with an egg cup of the same color and place the items inside. Have a race to see how quickly your child can place the correct item with its coordinating cup!
Keep your spare change from being lost in the car or the washing machine with these simple bowls.
What You'll Need: 1 egg carton; scissors; tempera paint (two colors); paintbrushes; scrap paper
Make It: Cut off the top half of the egg carton, leaving just the bottom with the cups. Separate an individual egg cup. Paint the inside and outside of the cup with two different colors, or paint the entire cup one color. Once the paint has dried, place the dish in the perfect spot, like a hallway table or dresser top, for collecting pennies and other loose change. When the egg cup is full, your child can add up the change and see how much has been collected!
Kids will love these critters, including cute caterpillars and lovely ladybugs.
What You'll Need: 1 egg carton; tempera paint (red, green, black); paintbrushes; glue; googly eyes; pipe cleaners (black and brown); white tissue paper; craft needle or push pin; scissors; markers; hot-glue gun, tissue paper (optional)
Make It: Bugs can be made from one egg cup or from several cups cut in a row. Cut off the top of the carton, leaving just the bottom. Separate individual egg cups or cut two or three egg cups in a row. Paint the outside of the cups with solid colors. Paint a few individual egg cups red to create single lady bugs, paint two cups black to create beetles, or paint three cups green to make a caterpillar. Once the paint has dried, use markers to add details (such as dots and lines). Then glue two googly eyes to the front of an egg cup of each color for the head, and cut different lengths of pipe cleaners to use for legs or antennae. Use a craft needle or a pushpin to punch holes in the cups where you want to insert the pipe cleaners. Thread the pipe cleaners and secure the ends by bending or twisting them inside the cup. You can also cut wings out of tissue paper and hot-glue them to the finished bugs.
Encourage your child to create five blocks from two cartons.
What You'll Need: 2 egg cartons; tempera paint (any five colors); paintbrushes; 5 small containers; water; scrap paper; scissors; hot-glue gun
Make It: Brainstorm different ways to come up with five blocks. (Hint: One way is to cut one of the egg cartons in half and the other in thirds.) Secure the lids with hot-glue. Place one of the blocks on the sheet of scrap paper. Add about two Tbs. of one color of paint to one small container and then add a splash of water to thin the paint; do the same with the other colors of tempera paint and containers. Paint the outsides of each egg carton with one solid color. Set the egg cartons aside to dry. Once all the blocks have dried, see how many ways the blocks can be arranged and balanced before they fall down.
Learn about rhythm with these vibrant musical instruments.
What You'll Need: 1 egg carton; scissors; tempera paint (any four colors); paintbrushes; scrap paper; rice; hot-glue gun
Make It: Cut off the top half of the egg carton. Separate four individual egg cups from the bottom. Paint the outside of each cup with different colors to mix and match them. When the cups are dry, flip two of them over. Measure out ? tsp. of dried rice and pour it into one cup; do the same for another cup. Hot-glue the two remaining egg cups onto the ones filled with rice, recreating an egg-shaped shaker. When the glue has set, try out the egg cup shakers by turning on some music and shaking to the beat!
See how outdoor plants grow by bringing nature indoors.
What You'll Need: 1 egg carton; scissors; black marker; potting soil; four seed packets; spoon; plate; water
Make It: Cut off the top of the egg carton, leaving just the bottom. Separate four egg cups from the carton to create a pot collection and use scissors to trim the edges so they are even and smooth. Write the name of each plant on one side of each of the egg cups and fill each with a few scoops of potting soil. Place a few seeds of one plant in the appropriately labeled pot. Place all the pots on a large plate and position the plate near a sunny window. Water the plants according to the instructions on each package. When the plants get too big for the pots, transfer them to a bigger pot or to a garden outside. There's no need to remove the plants from the egg cups when planting in the garden; they will decompose into the soil!
No matter the season, create a special wreath to greet guests at the front door.
What You'll Need: 2 egg cartons; scissors; 8-color set of watercolor paints; paintbrushes; small container; scrap paper; paper plate; glue; length of ribbon or wreath hanger
Make It: Cut off the two top halves of each egg carton, leaving just the bottoms. Save one top for later. Separate each of the 24 egg cups from the cartons; use scissors to trim and smooth the edges. Pick a color scheme for the wreath that correlates with the season (pastel colors for spring; foliage colors for fall).
Fill the small container with water. Place the cups on the scrap paper and paint the inside and outside with the watercolor paints, diluting the paints in water when necessary. Next, paint the inside of the egg carton top with big dabs of the same colors used to create the egg cup flowers. While the egg cups and the lid are drying, cut away the inner circle of the paper plate, leaving the outer rim, which will be the base of your wreath. Paint the base one solid color and set aside to dry.
Once the cups are dry, use scissors to cut three to four evenly spaced vertical slits down the sides. Start at the outside edge of the cup and cut downward, but don't cut through the bottom of each cup. These slits form separate petals that can be gently flattened out like individual flowers. Arrange each flower along the paper plate rim and then hot-glue each cup onto the plate until it is covered. Then, cut 24 small circles from the painted carton lid and glue each one to the centers of each flower cup. Loop a length of ribbon through the center of the wreath and secure it with a knot, or use a metal wreath hook to hang the finished wreath on the front door.
Sarah Lipoff loves using her background as an art educator to make lots of messy art projects and to stir things up in the kitchen with her daughter. Check out her blog, So Says Sarah..., at sarahlipoff.com.