Reuse your baby formula or coffee tins, or cans, with these fun learning ideas with a tin.
When you have a baby on formula, you have a lot of empty tins too, right? (We used a tin a week!) Here are 8 fun ways to play with it!
I first covered the tins with these lovely tape from Scotch my friend brough all the way from the USA. All of these were made of the 900g tin, except for nr.4, that is a small one, but you can use any size for all of these fun activities.
Here are a few ideas:
1) Posting lid: cut a slit in the lid for posting purposes. For baby I made a big slit, so a baby food jar’s lid will fit through. But for an older toddler you can make a smaller slit to increase the difficulty with a smaller object like a coin. An older child will benefit from different size slits, and different size objects, to guess which object will fit through which slit.
Baby cousin is trying very hard to get this in!
2) Drum: a favourite for baby and toddler: make some noise! You could even have different size tins, to hear the different sounds it will make. A whole band, mom!
3) Pegs: use pegs, clipping them on and off. Baby only gets them on, at this stage, but toddlers could clip them back on again. Let them sort it by colour too!
4) Rolling stamp: stick any shape craft foam all around the tin (I used dots). Now roll in paint and roll on a paper!
5) Behavioural tool: I stuck a happy face at the one side of the tin, and a sad face at the other side. When Lella does something I don’t approve of, I turn the sad face facing up, without having to say anything, she understands that I don’t like her behaviour, then when she is good, I turn the tin around, happy face up. This is a way of reinforcing good behaviour, without having to fight the whole day. Children will want to see the happy face more than the sad face, and mom can save a few words in this way! At the end of the day, if they can see the happy face you can reward them in your own way, if not try and let them do something intentionally good, so the happy face will be there in the morning!
6) Pull: cut a few long strips of fabric and tie it to each other. Cut a small hole in the lid and let baby pull, and pull, and pull the fabric out. You can make it different colours and texture fabric to increase the learning process.
7) Magnets: magnets stick on the tin, yay! Endless possibilities! For baby I stuck the magnets on, he simply pulled them off again, great for that thumb and forefinger grip. The number magnets Lella used to stick in sequence all around the tin. Depending on the type of magnets you have available, you can do so much. I’m thinking telling a story, going around the tin, a story that will fit by starting and ending at the same place. This could also be great for traveling, store the magnets inside the tin, take out and play around the tin, and store again!
8) Pipe cleaners: make holes in the lid, and push pipecleaners through the lid. Baby and his cousin liked to pull it out, toddlers can push it back in again. You can colour code the holes for extra learning possibilities. If you don’t have pipecleaners, or your child finds it difficult to manipulate, rather use craft sticks, just adjust the slits, so it will go through.
Another activity is to roll the tin. It makes an interesting sound on the tile floor and it is good for tracking skills.
Tins could be used for organization purposes too. It is great for storing food like rice or pasta. And of course it can be used to organize toys, think small toys, like Legos, Barbie doll clothes etc. Use it in your craft room to keep the paintbrushes in or any other item!
So before you throw it away, think how can I use this for some learning activities. And what I love about all of this, is the fact that we are recycling, saving the world one tin at a time!
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