Pringles can + paint chip samples = fine motor fun!
I have a hard time parting with my recyclables. Before I toss anything into the blue bin, I think seriously about its potential to be upcycled into a craft or an activity for the hooligans. As a result, I have bags and boxes and cupboards full of cereal boxes, plastic containers, styrofoam produce trays, shampoo bottles and Pringles cans. You might say I’m a hoarder, but I’m not alone. It’s common among us folk who work with little people. Teacher Tom describes the condition well in Confessions of a Middle-Class Bag Lady.
Yesterday, on my day off, I was sorting through my
trash craft supplies and I decided to put a couple of Potato chip cans and a handful of paint swatches to good use by turning them into a fine motor activity for my toddlers.
These were so easy to make, and you’ll need only a few basic supplies:
What I used:
- A Pringles (or similar) potato chip can
- Duck Tape (or scrap-book paper, wallpaper samples, contact paper etc.)
- craft knife
- paint chip samples
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How I did it:
You don’t have to cover your potato chip can, especially if it’s like the blue one in the above photo, but the Pringles can was easy to cover, so I used one of my new favourite finds: Duck Tape. You can see how I used Duck Tape for another project recently when I made our Cardboard Drop Zone. I love this tape! It comes in a wide variety of patterns and colours, and you can use it for so many things!
- I covered my can by cutting long lengths of my tape, and running the strips top to bottom on the can. You could also use patterned paper to cover your can.
- In the lid of the can, with a craft knife, cut a slit slightly wider than your widest paint swatch. If you don’t have a cutting mat similar to the one pictured above, make sure to protect the surface that you’re working on. Your kitchen cutting board is a good alternative.
- Snap the lid on the can, and Voila! How easy was that?
For the longest time, I would just pocket a handful every time I saw a display. A lot of others do the same, but I always felt a little funny about it. I know the whole purpose of the paint swatch is for people to take them home, but I always felt like I was stealing them because, let’s face it, I wasn’t just taking 2 or 3. I was taking one of every fun colour I could find. My guilty conscience got the best of me one day, and I actually asked the owner of the paint store if they might be able to give me any swatches for “expired” colours. She explained that they don’t take paint colours out of circulation, and therefore the swatches don’t actually expire, but she opened up a cupboard and grabbed me about 20 packages of unopened swatches in colours that weren’t big sellers. She said they’d never go through them all, and she was happy to give them to me, knowing that we were crafting with them in my daycare. COOL eh? Goes to show you that it never hurts to ask!
The littles LOVED it!
and then dumping the paint chips out, to start all over again.
The baby had a trouble getting the paint samples through the thin opening in the lid, so I removed the lid entirely for her, and she had a great time dropping the paint chips directly into the can. This was still a good exercise in fine motor for her. Those little paint chips are tricky to separate from each other, and challenging for little fingers to pick up off the floor. Hand-eye co-ordination is challenged as well, lining the paint sample up, and fitting it into the top of the can.
Don’t you love it when learning comes from the simplest of activities?
Fun was had by all! And when you’re finished, store the paint chips in the can for future use!
So tell me, how have YOU used a Pringles can?
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